Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Out and About

Ummm, well, after all good intentions of my writing more regularly I've been somewhat remiss in actually walking the walk rather than talking the talk!

But I have been out and about quite a lot recently, and that's what life's all about, right? We even went to Bruges on a coach trip which was......how shall I put it, an experience..... never to be repeated again.  I'm just not cut out for the regimentation of them it seems. Bruges itself was lovely though with wonderfully quirky features around every corner;

strange smelling waterways;

 where herons swooped and feasted on unfortunate eels;

 gothic skylines;

and architecture to die for.

As was Ghent with it's crumbling facades;

and imaginatively dressed shop windows;

A bit closer to home back in good old blighty, we've been making good use of our National Trust membership which we took out earlier in the year. My favourite by far was our trip to lovely Ightham Mote;

a glorious moated medieval manor house, described by British Historian, David Starkey as 'one of the most beautiful and interesting of English country Houses,' which I have to agree with.  It even came with it's own Grade I listed dog kennel which was made for a St Bernard's called Dido in 1890.  She was apparently so large that they used a washing up bowl  to put her food in,

My only real criticism of the place was the attempt by it's last owner, an American called Charles Henry Robinson, to modernise his private apartments there by painting over beautifully carved wooden panels  in hideous pastel shades of mostly grey paint.  He came from Portland, Maine and was apparently trying to recreate their style.....as you do.  In fairness he channelled a lot of money into the restoration of the place as a whole and later bequeathed it to the trust so I guess he wasn't all bad!

Bruges, Ghent, and Ightham Mote was quickly followed by a mini break in Devon - to lovely Chagford no less, where I spied two people who's blog's I greatly admire but was suddenly too shy to introduce myself to for fear of being thought of as some kind of demented stalker!  A break in our journey there led to us discovering this beautiful scenery at Budley Salterton;

which hugged the coastline of a gorgeous and almost deserted beach to the right of the photo.  Don't be fooled by that balmy blue sky either as our trip was a real mixed bag weather-wise.  One day of fog and rain on Dartmoor;

followed by another wonderful bright and sunny day where I climbed halfway up Brent Tor;

in order to try capture the stunning views along the ridge to the Church, only to give up half way because for some inexplicable reason I got spooked.  I was on my own, without a soul in sight surrounded by glorious countryside but was suddenly overcome with a sense of foreboding, which isn't I hasten to add, something that usually happens to me.  No idea why and of course I'm now kicking myself for being such a wuss and not getting the moneyshot, but hey ho, maybe another time! It's a good excuse as any to go back, right?

That just about brings me bang up to date.  Time maybe for one final photo before I bore everyone to tears, this time of some spinning I did yesterday, on day three of the 'Tour de Fleece' which is held over on Ravelry. Every year, without fail, Mr OM watches the Tour de France, which I confess doesn't interest me at all, so it seems a great way of occupying my time whilst he's glued to the TV.  The idea is to spin every day of the TdeF so this was yesterday's offerings;


spun using lots of left over fibres, a plied with previously spun single colour yarn and a fine lurex thread to add a bit of 'bling.'  I'm not sure how my hands are going to fair spinning every day for three weeks or so as I've had Rheumatoid Arthritis for more years than I care to remember and have the added 'delight' of tenosynovitis in one hand which can make things seem a little heavy going at times, but I'm certainly enjoying the challenge so far!