Today I saw that the tree outside my window is starting to go yellow, and I am way behind. I meant to blog about staying with our inlaws in Dorset. It was one of our best trips for ages, the weather was great and it was such a restful and carefree time - so it really deserves a post.
Wimborne's a good place to shop, a good mix of locals and independents, including a bookshop and a record shop - the latter a real rarity these days. I specially liked the greengrocer in the square, too.
Our inlaws have a season ticket to Wimborne's Priest's House museum, one of the oldest buildings in town, so of course they took us there. At one stage in its varied career, part of the Priest's House became a "Miss Havisham" style Victorian stationers which was boarded up complete with all its stock in 1872 and only rediscovered decades later. There's a display in one of the rooms showing part of the stationer's as it was when open - except that all the shutters were closed and the room was lit only by lamplight. Spooky!
Other rooms in the rambling old house show it in other periods. I fell in love with these painted cloth walls of the 17th century room. A cheaper alternative to tapestries, they were insulation for chilly rooms. If I ever have time, I'd like to do something like this myself. It's better than wallpaper because you can unroll the fabric and put it away for a while when you are tired of it.
Outside, there's a long, well stocked garden, tended by local volunteers, with lawns, fruit trees, shrubs, flowers and plants, all centred on a first class tea room.
As I mentioned in this recent post, we visited the National Trust's Kingston Lacy House, and on another day we packed a picnic and headed for the Blue Pool, near Wareham.
Decades ago, it was a clay pit, and its bright turquoise waters seem un-English somehow. The once-industrial area has now reverted to nature and has been unobtrusively laid out with woodland paths, benches, etc. as well as plenty of places to scramble over hills and down dales. Just the place for kids, of course. We liked the cafe, designed in appealingly retro fifties style with turquoise touches to match the water, and enjoyed the little museum. There was also a large display of teddy bears, known as the Wareham Bears. Bears are not my cup of tea to be honest, but it was ingenious and the bear-loving visitors were entranced.
We spent most of the day at Blue Pool idling about, sitting around, talking and looking at the wildlife. At one point, we were joined for about half an hour by this robin which clearly had nothing else to do either...
Back in Wimborne, there was a small drama, with a chip pan fire not far from our inlaws' house. Nobody was hurt, and normally I wouldn't have taken much notice, but one of their sons happens to be a fireman, so we were able to see him and his colleagues at work. I am only posting the picture because the affected place was insured and all was well - but it was impressive to see how well organised the firemen were, even for a small incident like this.
By the way, several of them told us they'd never have chip pans in their own homes!
We had a meal at the Anchor at Shapwick, a pub which seemed very popular and was quite hard to get in, even midweek. Prices weren't high, and the food was good, so I recommend it if you are ever in the Wimborne area.
I also discovered rose lemonade. It is weird stuff, tasting of a mixture of lemons and roses - but it's perfect on a hot day.
This week I had a 2 hour interview about Lewis Carroll with CBC Toronto, As I was a journalist for many years, I still can't get over the slightly weird feeling of being on the other side of the mike, but the CBC interviewer, Cindy Bisaillon, was such a professional that it all seemed easy and fun. There is talk of another translation of "The Mystery of Lewis Carroll" happening, so I'll be keeping my fingers crossed about that.
At home, we had a house guest who is nuts about folk music and he introduced us to a whole new world which I will try to blog about soon. We did some boat work, and since it was a real indian summer day today, it was a total pleasure to do it, even though some of it did involve emptying out bucketloads of bilge water and feeling like the Sorcerer's Apprentice.
But the sun was shining down, swans were floating by and there were nice little boats all around, so who could really complain?