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Archive for December, 2014

There’s no doubt I’m behind in this account of tootling, but will backtrack at sometime and tell all about London, Surrey, Gloucestershire, the fab peeps who hosted me and adventures encountered along the way. For now, however, it’s Dorset.

Dorset

Dorset


I lived in Bournemouth some years back, and this has been my first visit back to the area. Thankfully, one friend from that time is still in the area so a very enjoyable reunion has been happening this week. Martin is pretty much the only person I still speak to who knew me well throughout my time here, so being able to share thoughts has been a gift.
PrettyPlace
Martin and his husband, Ciaran, live in the village of Pimperne just outside of Blandford Forum, and with the luck of (mostly) glorious weather, walks in pretty places with their Westie, Boris, have been a hoot.
The Boys at Studland

The Boys at Studland


A day at the beach at Studland had Boris introducing us to dalmatians, poodles, spaniels of all persuasions, various herding dogs and the occasional manic pointer. There was even one Dogue de Bordeaux that was every bit as sweet and drool-producing as a Hooch should be.

A day out in Bournemouth provided proof that things change a lot in two decades, although the building whose top floor was my flat looks pretty much as it did. The price has gone up by about £100,000.00 since I sold it, so, yep, things are different.

Had a good time down the pub last night with a couple of Martin & Ciaran’s local friends and had a laugh with some of the young lads drinking around the snooker table. I was, however, surprised to see them walk out carrying two-pints-to-go containers. They weren’t driving, but it still seemed an almost New Orleans thing to happen.

Elves like us ...

Elves like us …

Since ’tis the season, we shopped for, then decorated, the boys’ Christmas tree, which was a hilarious venture with a good outcome. They’re all set for the holidays now with plans in place and the house tarted up in festive fashion so the clear sky and bright sunshine feel as Cris-cringley as a blanketing of snow.

No lasers handy ...

No lasers handy …

Ta-Daaaaaa!

Ta-Daaaaaa!

Heading off tomorrow and, as I have with everyplace I’ve visited this trip, I’ll miss the place and the people that make the world special.

Going no place, no how ...

Going no place, no how …

I doubt I’ll see another bin as secure as the one attached to the log at the bottom of the page again …

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Sharing this again as I’ve noted the day without the time to give proper consideration …

Paradise Preoccupied

Yesterday I wrote about infamous dates, an appropriate topic on Pearl Harbor Day.

Today is another one of those. Although not on the same scale of lives lost or immediate consequence, December 8, 1980 saw a moment that defines a generation, and world, thirty years after the fact of an act of murder.

The death of John Lennon put paid to an era born in the sixties and dying with John.

It could be the timing was coincidental … another decade had closed and the 80’s loomed large and voracious. Flower-power was giving way to the darker, disenchanted tones of Goth, Ronald Reagan was White House-bound and the 80s stretched before us like a ladder to be climbed one pricey rung after the other.

Could it be, however, it was the event that instigated at least some of the changes?

The violent death of a gentle musician and poet…

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CowThe drive from Cornwall was very pretty with hedgerows, sheep-covered hills, sea cliffs and such, and a bit of adventure when we were stopped by a farmer herding his cows down the lane and one … a very handsome, curly beast stopped to poke her head by the car window and say, ‘howdy’.

I’ve admittedly been a bit of a slug the past few days, so haven’t actually seen much of Paignton yet, but have until the end of the week to check out more than the view of the bay. It’s so comfy and warm here in Pat’s mum’s house, as it would be for a 92-year old who runs her own home in style.

Not often finding myself in the company of someone so intimately familiar with a Britain that’s now hard to find, it’s been fun hangin’ with Pauline. Her sense of humor is still well in place, and the fact that she does snarky so well … veddy, veddy British snark, of course … has had me cracking up. Pat’s dad had been a pilot with the RAF and Pauline an encoder in the WAF, so she has terrific tales to tell that I’m lapping up.

She, being interested in new things, allows me to feel as though I’m doing my bit entertaining her with bits and pieces about Seychelles and animals, which went well with my trip to the Paignton Zoo, which was a great day out.

Isn't he gorgeous!

Isn’t he gorgeous!

Not only was the weather mild and dry, the bachelor group of five gorillas had me grinning like a … well … a baboon? Not large, the hilly setting makes for a lot of variety in enclosures and a number of water features for flamingos, pelicans, a variety of ducks … including whistling tree ducks, which are a big fav for me … and setting off islands for the orangs, adding atmosphere.

PaigntonPaignton, being an English seaside town, is the usual mix of Victoriana and kitchy, touristy stuff. The bay is full of boats, the town rife with arcades, bars and chip shops and is a busy place even on an off-season Tuesday afternoon. There’s a steam train and a paddlewheel boat, so I envision major fun here in summer.

The "English Riviera"

The “English Riviera”

We’re cooking in, so I’ve nothing to say about restaurants, but can recommend the Paignton Sainsbury’s … but I have been known to be overly impressed with supermarkets lately.bcdca111-2c1a-4782-9f39-3a613b908427.1

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