Wednesday 26 February 2014

Rain and Shine

My daughter and family arrived on Friday morning. In the afternoon the children and the dogs had a great time on Sandbanks beach. We managed to catch this pic in a rare moment when the dogs were still. Jade has a pebble in her mouth, which I had thrown for her.

We left the beach as the rain started and stopped the car to take this photo of the rainbow over the harbour through the window.

Monday 24 February 2014

Another Dead Mule Swamp Book

If you read any of Joan Young's blogs, especially Shark Bytes and Tales, you probably know her series of Anastasia Raven mysteries. I've been a fan since the first one came out, bought the next two, and have been awaiting the 4th, which I am delighted to say is now available at Amazon and is sitting on my Kindle as I write. It's now in my reading list, and I don't know how long I'll be able to resist pushing it up to the top.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Sunny Sandbanks

We took advantage of a rare sunny day recently to take Jade to Sandbanks again, and this time I took the camera. I ended up with lots of pics of shadows, but I guess they prove I had plenty of sun behind me. The first is of  the mini golf arena, showing one of the water logged putting areas - a legacy from the storms.

It was pretty windy and Jade had a good run around which meant it was difficult to capture her in a still photo, but  here's one I grabbed when she took a breather.

This one shows the promenade and the area in front of some of the council's posh beach huts. Normally it's all kept pristine and free of sand - another legacy of the storms.

I rather like this one taken from the path back to the harbourside road over the sand dunes behind the beach. I've added a little light so you can see a few more details which were obscured by the deep shadows.

Monday 17 February 2014

The Valentine Weekend

These flowers were for me on Valentines Day. Aren't they gorgeous? I'm waiting now to see what colour the lilies are. The rest of them are so beautifully colour coordinated.

We went to see Hamworthy Park on Sunday, which was a warm, sunny day after the last storm subsided. It had been particularly ferocious on our stretch of coastline. You may have heard about the seaside restaurant at New Milton, from which Valentine's night diners had to be rescued by the emergency services after huge waves carrying pebbles broke through the windows. That's only a few miles east of us.

Anyway much of the water had subsided from our park, which sits on the side of Poole Harbour and is not next to the open sea. We were able to walk the pathways. The field to the right of the car park was still flooded though and it had some of beach huts sitting in it.

Above is a picture of the line of huts normally. Now it has gaps in it where those whose rusted cables had given way had been flung far back from their sites. All the others had shifted back a bit but were still held by the steel cables  fastening them to their concrete plinths. Hubby stopped to lend a hand to one family whose hut had swung sideways so that it couldn't be opened. A couple of other passers by also helped to manoeuvre it into its rightful position with brute strength.

The beach has dropped lower from the sea wall in places, and the tide was still high so we couldn't see much of it and we didn't let Jade go down there, but she found lots of new smells to excite her and still enjoyed her walk.

Friday 14 February 2014

UK Under Water

The pic on the left is from Not sure where it was taken, but it's much calmer than the water that's all around us at the moment.

Just in case anyone doesn't know, we are still having storms with pelting rain and very high winds, and parts of the UK  have been under water since before Christmas. While there have been few human fatalities attributed to this weather, thousands of people have lost homes and livelihoods and have been having the most horrendous time. You can read more about it and see some photos here.

In our house we have been lucky, no water inside until today when I found a slight leak in my office coming from the underside of the cupboard that houses the boiler. After investigation, we decided it was most likely rainwater being driven by the wind into the heating system outlet.

Hubby and I did get very wet this morning though. We were driving gingerly through a flooded area of road and hubby had the window open on his side. Suddenly a lorry rushed past in the outside lane, coming too fast to get the window up in time. A wave of water suddenly flooded the car through the gap at the top of the window as it went up, and we were both drenched. Hubby was incensed and would have tried to catch up with the errant driver once we got through the water, but I actually found it quite  funny, and did manage to stop him.

The moral of this story is: keep your car windows closed while driving through floodwater.

Sunday 9 February 2014

What Kind of Personality Are you?

I took the free personality test and turned out to be a Good-natured Realist. I was told that adjectives that apply to me are:

introverted, practical, emotional, planning, tradition-conscious, good-natured, self-sacrificing, caring, devoted, friendly, loyal, considerate, reliable, conscientious, loving, quiet, reserved, modest, helpful, objective, hard-working, warm-hearted, communicative, painstaking, altruistic.


Wednesday 5 February 2014

Battered Railway

I'm not going to be able to get to my home town by train for the forseeable future. Take a look at the \BBC's video on what has happened to the railway line at Dawlish since yesterday. And this is what it was like on the street below the railway.

I'd been hearing about the battering that Devon and Cornwall has been having and wondering how things were going with my family down there. I was just about to call my sister when she rang me this morning. They have been lucky so far. Their house is on a hill in Torquay and apart from a few slates lifting in the wind, there's no damage so far. Many people have it far worse. They are describing last night's storm as hurricane-like.

It was bad enough here and quite scary out in the local park with Jade this morning with the wind blowing the tree branches hither and thither above our heads. This afternoon there was lull in the rain and hubby volunteered to take Jade out so that I could get on with more work. They were soon back though. He said he had driven into the car park at Hamworthy Park and found it an island surrounded by water. The sea had covered the grass and all of the paths with about a foot of water. It was well up the sides of all the beach huts so there will be plenty of damage left behind when it recedes. And Jade didn't get her walk, so I will now get kitted up and take her for a stroll around the block so we can both get some fresh air, even if it's not true exercise.

Monday 3 February 2014

Jade Has a Mind of her Own

In the park opposite the industrial estate this morning, Jade nearly gave me a heart attack. Normally she goes off lead as soon as we hit the park and is as happy as Larry on the paths and the grass, under the trees and in the bushes. All I have to do is keep an eye out for when she does her business so that I can scoop it. Often we meet other dogs and their walkers and do some socialising, but this morning it was quiet and noone was about.

It was windy though, and as the normal path is waterlogged and very muddy, I walked along the bank by the road. We've done that countless times before and Jade has never gone onto the road. We have our share of litter louts and today there was a drinks can rolling around in the road as the wind caught it. I saw that Jade was interested in it so I called her to me and we turned off away from the road. Suddenly though, her curiosity got the better of her, and she whipped round, down the bank and across the road to sniff this can, with me screaming at her to come back.

She was actually back in a jiffy, and thank goodness there was no traffic, but my heart was hammering away nineteen to the dozen. "Never do that," I said sternly, and realising she'd done something wrong, she sat down in the grass in front of me and looked up at me with those big, appealing eyes.

"Are you sorry?" I asked her, and she lifted up her left paw for me to hold. Of course I had to make a fuss of her after that. But I didn't feel like going any further so we turned for home and she got a shorter walk than usual.

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