I am now back to my very crowded little corner of the country and if I am being honest, it feels a bit grim.
I have just returned from a week in Dorset where we have been out and about for between 8 to 10 hours each day, and therefore sitting down in front of a computer for hours on end represents a bit of a challenge. It is going to take me a lot of will power not to run back screaming to the beautiful hills of Wessex.
I have come back incredibly inspired and even more convinced that the path I have chosen is the right one. This is what Dorset does to you. There is a quiet creative energy running through the county and a seductive mystery in the atmosphere of this ancient landscape.
Yes, Dorset is worth a pint indeed… or a very good pot of tea in my case.
Talking about ancient landscape, there is a new book just out that will give you a good idea of how rich in natural beauty, history and folklore West Dorset is.
It is The Secret Places of West Dorset, by Louise Hodgson – artist, writer and founder of SECRET LANDSCAPE TOURS. I have just started it and it is really inspiring, guiding you on the paths that criss-cross the county and in the process telling you wondrous stories - Louise's delightful paintings illustrate the text wonderfully. Louise’s writing is simple yet inspired.
The book is published by a local independent publisher, ROVING PRESS.
We went back to some of our favourite places…
Lyme Regis, where we paid a visit to the wonderful Sanctuary Bookshop (see my previous blog HERE). I have acquired some Evelyn Waugh and PG Woodhouse… I am happy!
On the Lyme Regis seafront that leads to the infamous Cobb, we were stunned to see that the house we had so admired in June was up for sale… The details are not up on the estate agent’s website, though, for some reason… But imagine living in this… The amount of books I would write there!
Near Worth Matravers, just before the evocative Winspit quarry and on our way to St Alban’s Head, we came across what we think might just be a very big ammonite.
Our path has crossed that of numerous animals, some rare wild birds, some very happy dogs and some luscious cats, much like this one spotted on the stairs of an old rectory on Portland.
Talking of happy dogs, what about these two little friends enjoying their day in Britport’s Art and Vintage Quarter?
We were lucky enough to have a chat with the studios founder and spokesperson, the artist Kit Glaisyer, who very nicely invited us to have a look around his studio and discussed his work with us a little bit. He is very busy with some commissions (you can see the progress he is making on his canvases on his video blogs HERE).
We stopped off at the lovely Red Brick Café for a restorative tea before exploring the treasure trove that is Les Allées.
I have posted quite a few website addresses in my previous blog about the estate, but I will add this one HERE (Bridport Antiques) to the list.
By the way, Bridport is a thriving literary place too, and they will have an excellent literary festival in November – I wish I could be there!
BRIDPORT LITERARY FESTIVAL WEBSITE
Somewhere else in the county, film buffs can enjoy the PURBECK FILM FESTIVAL (and what a great programme!). Just look at this one!
It was wonderful to see them there after so many gigs in London. The atmosphere was great and the set fab as always! The Dorset air seemed to have been beneficial to Justin Sullivan who was on “chatty” mode. See the end of this blog for a taste of the evening...
The venue, the ELECTRIC PALACE, is a wonderful multi-function building which was built in the 1920s as a cinema…
We ended our stay with a visit to Dorchester, the administrative capital of Dorset. I was slightly disappointed by the town itself, quite sedate and sleepy despite its huge history. But I am quite certain that there is more to it than meets the eye...
We came across the excellent Dorchester Curiosity Centre, an antiques centre absolutely full of very interesting items at amazing prices… Another visit is required!
I will leave you with a picture of the ancient, mysterious and awe-inspiring Maiden Castle located just outside of Dorchester...
And the perfect tribute song to Dorset: New Model Army, "High", in Bridport on Saturday, 15th October 2011...