Mud Everywhere

Atop the Purbeck, before the worst of the mudThe morning was bright and crisp, the torrential rain of the last few days had been blown away, but even the wind had abated.

Perfect for a trip over the Purbecks. By eleven I was on the chain ferry with a friend and we were on our way to an appointment with Old Harry.

Apart from a few puddles, the roads were dry and the beautiful sunshine had brought out dozens of cyclists, all togged up against the single figure temperature. The bite in the little breeze there was reminded us that autumn is well and truly here.

Passing the Banks Arms, we took a left, up the interestingly rough uphill track towards the coastal path. There were a lot of people walking, their kids, their dogs, just themselves and everyone was trying to skirt the huge muddy puddles left by the recent rains.

It was about this time I wished I had invested in a set of mudguards. Even staying back from my friend’s back wheel didn’t stop the mud flying around my ears. MTB knobblies are particularly adept at digging through soft mud, and flinging it up at the hapless rider.

The ride up the spine of the Purbecks was just awesome. The stunning views of Swanage Bay on our left was matched by the sight of Poole and Bournemouth bathed in autumn sunshine, over to the right. It’s a good job there’s very little to run into up there, neither of us were really watching where we were going.

That became evident when I suddenly realised that we had ridden straight past the turning off down the Heritage Trail into Swanage. We made a scenic detour down the side of the hill and picked up the trail just before the steep descent of the chalk section.

Having negotiated the chalk got to the dirt path that leads down into the farmyard. Normally the surface is firm and dry, not today. It’s also a bridle path and it was clear that quite a few horses had churned it up … more mud.

The road from Swanage to Corfe Castle was dry, initially, but then as we got into the undulations the troughs were wet, the peaks dry, so we had a series of bespatterings as we went along. Getting to the castle, we stopped for a drink of water and got a few funny looks. It was only later that I found that I had bits of mud stuck all over my face, ears, hair, you name it, I had it covered.

By the time we got back to the ferry I think a lot of it had dried and fallen off, but I still found lumps of mud, I say mud, but there were a few cows along the way, so who knows, in some very interesting places later in the shower.

All in all, a brilliant day. Lots of fun, lots of chat, beautiful scenery, nature at its best. All that’s needed now is a nice soft brush and a hosepipe to get the remaining mud off my pride and joy … my bike I meant … behave!!!

Utopia In My Back Yard

Hamworthy SunsetThe beautiful weather continues, and combined with the Bank holiday, it’s brought all the tourists down to Dorset this weekend. Hamworthy Park was heaving in the sunshine today, families having picnics on the grass, children making sandcastles on the beach and paddling in the sea, and everyone having fun.

Seeing all these people, and the shouting and laughter, is a big contrast from the quiet of Moriconium Quay. I seem to spend a lot of time on my own, and although I’m fine with that, I do find it very different from when I go into town or out when there are a lot of people about.

It’s been so warm here today, and although I’ve had the doors and windows open, it was too hot in the lounge this evening. So as the sun was setting, and the temperature dropping, I decided to go out for a stroll, in an attempt to cool down a little. There were still a few people about. A bunch of guys out for an evening bike ride and a couple walking their dog, but it was much quieter than it had been earlier.

By the time I got to the park I was almost alone, the hoards had gone and because there was little or no wind, the waves were lapping gently on the deserted beach. Looking out towards Studland, there was a beautiful crescent moon rising into a soft sunset. The contrast between the backlit jetty and the peach coloured sky was stunning.

Dying Embers

The Dying Embers Of AutumnWith winter creeping ever closer, it has been great to have a couple of days, particularly at the weekend, where the sun shines and the temperatures are a little higher than they normally are at this time of year.

Taking the opportunity to get out in the sunshine, for the second time in two days, has been great. There’s always the temptation, as the days get shorter, to wrap up warm, make a nice bowl of soup and hunker down in the comfort of home, shutting out the wind and weather.

So it is a little ray of happiness when the weather and the weekend conspire to coincide and allow us that opportunity, to give us just a glimpse of the dying embers of autumn, before closing the curtains of winter on the rest of the year.

Quiescent Sunday

Second Hand StuffAfter our rather hectic and task filled Saturday, it was wonderful to have a slow and peaceful Sunday morning. We lay in bed all morning talking. There seems so much to talk about, the past, the present and the future and somehow time just flies by.

So by the time we had showered and got ourselves ready to leave it was after noon. First stop was the local recycling centre. It seems so much better, disposing of unwanted items, when you know that over 50% of the raw materials will be reused.

We then took a few other items to Wot Nots in Westerleigh, a second hand shop, who warehouse and sell unwanted items on. They only accept things they think will sell, so we had to keep one of the light fittings we had taken, but some of the items will find a new home and we might get a couple of pounds for them.

A quick whizz round Sainsbury’s and then off to see B’s parents, with a welcome cup of coffee and a nice chat. By now the day was almost over, so we spent an hour or so preparing dinner.

By the time it was cooked, eaten and cleared away it was time for bed again. Sunday evenings are always too short, knowing that in the early hours of Monday I have to set off back for Ringwood. But it had been a restful day and a fitting end to a lovely weekend.

I Love Sundays

A wonderful eveningWhat a fantastic day!!! Sunday may well be the best day of the week, and today was a particularly good example. A nice lie-in, followed by gentle, concentrated Gongyo and then a warm, sunny day of pleasant variety. A little bit of work, so tomorrow morning isn’t the deluge of last week, some washing, some cricket, some football and cycling on the telly and a nice walk this evening, just perfect.

This evening, the sun was sinking slowly down behind the boat yard. It was still warm and the baby seagulls were mewing to be fed, so I took a slow stroll along the beach and along to Hamworthy park. There were still a number of families enjoying the seaside, people walking their dogs and others just sitting enjoying the view over to Brownsea island.

The view from the beach

Everyone I encountered was very convivial. It’s funny how the weather affects people’s mood. A nice warm, soft evening and everyone was in a nice warm, soft mood and keen to chat. A golden Labrador decided to join me on my walk, much to the angst of it’s owner, so I pointed him in the right direction and he trotted off.

The view towards Brownsea islandIt was the perfect day to live in the moment, take in every wonderful aspect, and make the most of the day. Maybe it was because I have a nice short week this week, I’m on holiday from Tuesday evening for a few days, or maybe it was just because it was such a nice day, after all the bad weather we had last week. Whatever the reason, I decided today, that I love Sundays.

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