Local Heart, Global Soul

November 14, 2014

The Quirky Things Are Back: See How Many I Can Find Along The Way!

Filed under: Devon,Dorset,ENGLAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,South Coast — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You know Me, anything quirky gets my attention and the quirkier the better!

Along our journey and despite the misty conditions I still manage to get some photos that make me smile, raise some eyebrows or catch my attention for one reason or another.

I smile at the tractor sign,  a 400 yard tractor dash? rogue tractors? the only space where tractors hide?

I like looking out for beautiful weathervanes, I spot two close to our destination: a ship and a cockerel.

I see a mini mural on the back of a lorry, and a wall of birdhouses on a building (it may have been a pub, I’m not sure)… and speaking of pubs, I started to realise that I had quite a few photographs of public houses!

Luckily that had nothing at all to do with always having a eye out for a drink, and everything to do with the fact that many of these buildings caught me eye because they were beautiful. There are little sign posts on rural roads : I love the little pyramids on their tops. There is also a vetenary practice that has a lovely logo… a paw print. Cats and dogs can’t read but I’m sure they recognised that one!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 13, 2014

From Devon To Dorset: Nature Dictates That The Views Are Optional…

Filed under: Devon,Dorset,ENGLAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,South Coast — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Regular readers will know that I love taking photographs out of the window of our vehicle as we travel. (Obviously I am not in the drivers seat.)

In the summer of 2013 we headed  to England to visit good friends, fund-raise  for the charity we support and see some sights along the way.

Now we are on our way from Devon to Dorset to visit friends and to accept their offer of a home cooked lunch.

We have to do a lot of driving today so it’s an early start which is not a problem, but maybe the weather will be.

It might be summer but this is still England and like anywhere in Northern Europe ( including The Netherlands) it’s well known that tourists do not flock to us for our unlimited sunshine and almost guaranteed picture-postcard clear blue skies.

This day was one of the iffy ones, first there are patches of sunshine peeking through dark clouds, this highlights the road where the trees blend together at the top to form a long green tunnel. Then there are just the dark clouds, and not long afterwards the mist rolls in, getting thicker and thicker and thicker so that even a glimpse of cloud would have been welcome. Traffic naturally enough, follows suit, decreasing speed more and more as visibility slips away and  we proceed almost at walking pace in places. If we are lucky we might spot the red tail lights of the vehicle in front of us, sometimes even that is lost in the grey soup. As we twist and turn over the little hills and shallow valleys, the mist thins, thickens and thins accordingly…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

At the top of one of the hills we were rewarded with a fabulous view… of fog!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kingsmead Centre to Bridport (Small)

November 12, 2014

An Invitation From Strangers… A Wonderful Surprise…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In 2013 Family Kiwidutch hired a camper and headed over the channel to England’s south coast.

We had booked ourselves an eco-camp site at the Kingsmead Centre in Devon, the facilities are basic but the bonus is that there is peace and quiet in abundance and all of the activities are very much connected to nature.

As outlines in my post of yesterday, this is the moment in our trip where I realised that I wasn’t really coping with the pain to my foot injury after all of my additional exercise.

My Dutch physiotherapist had said that if I was doing a lot of strenuous activity then I could take up to eight paracetamol per day, but by now I was getting worried because I was taking eight paracetamol on top of my usual pain relief, every single day and still had serious pain that was difficult to cope with.

I’d slept most of the late afternoon in the camper, whilst Himself, Little Mr and Kiwi Daughter  explored the camp site, ate a fish and chip dinner and made some new friends. Himself had checked several times earlier and found me asleep, but by mid evening I was awake and he had a surprise for me. He had gotten chatting with some other people around the camp site, our children had peeled off with other kids and then we received an invitation.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One of the other families decided that they wanted to experience a long weekend of “glamping” which is literally “glamorous camping” and  this involved renting the Kingsmead site’s most luxurious accommodation: a Yert.

Family Kiwidutch now had an invitation to join this family for a drink and a chat and since Himself had explained that the short distance down the hill was beyond my physical capabilities, and that the narrow track looked too small for our large camper, the invitation came with an offer of transportation there and back in their car.

The journey was one of the shortest car journeys I have made in my life, but the track was steep, and the terrain slippery with wet leaves and mud from the recent rain, so I was very appreciative for the offer.

I’d never seen a Yert up close… it’s large circular tent and this couple had saved up to have a special birthday treat for the weekend. We even got a guided tour and photographs were encouraged as we shared their excitement of this special occasion.

It’s available to rent from Spring to Autumn but is taken down for the Winter.

The children had been playing together wonderfully and continued to burn off energy running around close by, the trees and everything around, everything they needed in their imaginative games. We adults sat in chairs outside, enjoying the balmy summer evening and talking about jobs, hobbies and how life differed in England to the Netherlands. Afterwards I was transported back to the camper via their personalised “taxi” service and felt  better for the distraction of some friendly  hospitality. They were fabulous people and it was so unexpected to receive an invite like this from strangers. It’s moments like this that really make a trip special.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 11, 2014

Kingsmead Centre: A Very Different Type Of Camp-site…

Filed under: Accomodation,Devon,ENGLAND,Kingsmead Centre,PHOTOGRAPHY,South Coast — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In the summer of 2013 we tried a very new style of camping for us: Eco-camping.

The Kingsmead Centre on the Somerset / Devon border is the kind of camp site you go to if you want to get away from the crowd,  far, far away from the crowd.

There are no heated swimming pools, disco’s, on-site restaurants, kid’s club, television room or children’s playground.

Actually I take that back: the children’s playground is Mother Nature and consists of grass, trees, and things like fishing, walking and mucking round outdoors.

There are basic amenities: toilet, shower, laundry, as well as recycling facilities and high-speed internet, but for the rest it’s the kind of place you come to if peace and quiet are your thing, far from the madding crowd.

After our rather messy arrival, via what seemed every narrow side lane in the area, we are pleased to have arrived. The owner tells us that there is a pub a very short walk further down the lane, so we walk there to see if we can stake out and easy dinner. Technically it’s not far but I’m more than disappointed to find that the pub is closed tonight and instead of a nice sit down, I have to walk back.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself asks if he should go an fetch he camper and I say “No”, something I deeply regret by the time we get back to the camp site.  There is a public walkway next to the lane, Himself dares the kids to walk alongside us through the trees, but the forest is too creepy for our children to brave, even if Himself and I remain within view.

I think they are right, these trees look downright spooky.

My foot injury is not in good shape after pushing myself to do  so much walking this trip and it’s here at the Kingsmead Centre that it starts to dawn on me that the increased pain I’m experiencing is getting increasingly out of hand.

I’m not actually up to walking anywhere  any more and even though it’s later afternoon, retreat to bed with as many painkillers as I’m allowed, having lost my appetite for dinner.

Himself takes the kids on a ramble around the camp so that I can get a decent nap and hopefully sleep off the worst of the pain. Whilst I sleep, the rest of the family run into the owner of the camp-site  and they chat about using the facilities etc. During the conversation Himself mentions my situation and wonders if there is a shop or takeaway within cycling distance where he and the kids can go to get dinner for themselves without disturbing me. There isn’t, but the owner has a brainwave:  his wife works in one of the towns some distance away and he can ring her and ask if  as she leaves work she could please pop into a fish and chip shop and bring our family some dinner and Himself can pay her on delivery.

It’s a generous and kind solution which we appreciate. During my nap Himself and the kids also make a few new friends and when some hours later Himself comes in to check on me, finds me awake, fills me in on the news about how they managed to get dinner and announces he has another nice surprise…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

kingsmead centre 1l (Small)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kingsmead Centre,

  • Clayhidon, Cullompton, Devon, England, EX15 3TR, United Kingdom.

 

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