Thursday, 18 August 2011

Barred in Stratford: A Bit of a Big Dig!

Good Evening Dear Friends . . .

 . . .  and welcome to yet another Thursday evening in the study at Myrtle House; I am, as you can probably tell returned from foreign parts and relatively sound in mind and body, so please feel free to pull up a seat and rest for a few minutes while I regale you with tales of my travels in the shires of Hamp and Dorset!

The reason for the journey was, of course, to re-unite the Old Duchess and her brother in the swirly swishing wishing well waters of the sea just off Bournemouth in a rather swell location called Sandbanks.  My original plan had been to pop over to a nature reserve called Brownsea Island a little further west in Poole Harbour to do the deed but, on the day, the weather was just a little too grey and tending towards squally rain so I made an executive decision and deposited her, as requested, in the briny from the end of the groyn pictured above.  The picture was taken about a minute after I had done it and the weather changed perceptibly so perhaps she was insisting that I listen to her - for once at least!

The task having been completed - and photographs taken, shells collected as momentos it was then time to explore further afield.  So it was all aboard the chain ferry to the Isle of Purbeck (which, of course, isn't) and the lovely Olde Worlde charm of Swanage where a most lovely repast was had in the company of good folk. It really is quite a lovely little watering hole and somewhere I had never been before - I can thoroughly recommend it, not too crowded but quite picturesque.

Then it was over to a rather sad and forlorn place called Tyneham Village; in a remote valley and reached by traversing Army Firing Ranges  - when the big guns weren't looking - its population was evacuated on December 19th 1943 because the army needed the space to practice wars or some such silliness . . . they were told they would be allowed back but this has never happened and the tales of bitterly disappointed people are posted throughout the village which now stands as a monument to uprooted lives.  It is a bit of a trek to get there but well worth it, and certainly worth more time than I had allowed for it . . . it is, indeed, somewhere to explore more fully in the future.

On the way back up north I elected to visit somewhere I, as a writer, should be making a monthly pilgrimage to . . . I refer, of course, to Stratford Upon Avon and, if you can possibly imagine this, it was my first ever visit! I was very impressed by the number of places that Old Father William had lived/owned/walked past at some point in his life and was intrigued to see one with an archaeological dig in progress . . . access was allowed (for a fee, naturally) and so I entered the building and peered around the corner to see the extent of the dig at which point a curator positively bellowed at me from behind a desk that I could go no further without payment.  I said I was merely looking to see the extent . . . I got no further; who did I think I was to be allowed to walk around without paying? I did point out, in somewhat vociferous terms, that I had been on the point of entering but now would require the strength of several equines of inflamed temperament and possible mental instability to force me to stay! He was so rude!  

So I have no hesitation whatsoever of recommending that, should you be so foolish as to attempt to visit the dig at Nash's House, you either throw your purse in first or simply punch whoever happens to be behind the desk before they get a chance to insult you! it really quite spoiled my day there, despite the charms of the theatre which could have persuaded me to linger longer into the evening . . . ah well, maybe someone involved with the preservation and presentation of the nations most treasured properties will read this and "have a word" perhaps?

Anyhow, I am returned and so is the Famous Sally Dog; freshly bathed and smelling momentarily sweeter than normal thanks to the ministrations of the good folk at Talbot House who she loves dearly. There was a good deal of excited scampering about and licking at our reunion but they are quite used to me by now  - Sal was equally excited and watered each and every tree in sight in my honour; I was very proud.

And so here we are, in the study with the light fading and my keyboard glowing; work is cantering on a pace and may even be finished by next week's deadline; tomorrow is a day for meeting counsellor chums and so much and many tea and cakes are to be consumed with glee and by me.

I hope you have a fun Friday and - if a Tweeter - remember to #FF me; have a lovely weekend and may you be swathed in riches of kisses always!

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

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