The Blue Pool

Spiders web
Spiders web

I found the Blue Pool by chance as I was driving along and noticed a brown sign  pointing off a roundabout. I went to check it out and after a long drive down a narrow country lane I found a little office that gave me a leaflet.

Apparently there’s some chemical in the soil and water that makes the water go blue. Well it was more of a green when I was there but never mind, it was definitely coloured and quite eerie.

So I set off walking in the grounds without consulting the very good map with walks marked on it.  It’s fairly easy to find your way around, but doesn’t matter if you get lost because all paths bring you back to the front gate. The grounds are actually very nice and I had a really nice half day just walking around in them.

They even have tracks to follow for those in wheelchairs.

The tea room/cafe is very nice and I was served my earl grey  by a lovely lady who despite being 15 years older than me was quite hot!

The weather was great for me so I had an ace time just wandering around, taking photographs and generally enjoying myself. 🙂

Alden Hiccups

I finally managed to open an account with the German company IPcopter who run the ground station, so I can use the Alden satellite system. It’s not that expensive if you buy a full year of connectivity upfront, although quite restrictive on bandwidth, so I won’t be using youtube or even email on it.

It’s proven difficult to get connected a couple of times, but the guys who do tech support managed to lead me over the phone to get a connection. It seems very susceptible to wind though, far more than I would have thought. However it’s fast enough once connected so I’ll stick with it and see how it goes.

Arne

Tree trunk
Tree trunk

Arne is one of those places that you might never visit unless someone suggests it to you. It’s basically a nature park. After successfully ripping my rear bumper off negotiating a narrow lane, I continued to damage the front bumper slightly too, as I believe in having a nice balance in things. From then on God believed me when I said I’d go to church on Sunday so nothing else bad happened and I continued on to visit this park.

So I parked up and set off wandering through the woods. They’re gorgeous and I got some great pictures and as the weather was bright and still I got some nice reflection shots.

About a half mile further through the woods I found a well constructed 2 floor hide. Excellent. I went upstairs, put the 400 mm lens on the camera and settled down to watch for dinosaurs. The only other people in the hide were an older, quite well to do couple who appeared polite and said hello, but clearly weren’t happy that they’d been disturbed.  After a while though they returned to using their £400 binoculars and I scanned the marshes for wildlife.

Aha! A deer! CLICK! CLOCK! Nice one that’s in the bag. I ‘ll grab another just in case. CLICK! CLOCK!  Oh there’s what looks for all the world like a water buffalo. CLICK! CLOCK! and another just in case. CLICK! CLOCK! Oh look, I know a curlew when I see one and the layout of the ground around it makes a nice scene. CLICK! CLOCK! CLICK! CLOCK! CLICK! CLOCK!  Got an extra one there just for good measure.  Hmmmm more deer, but they might be a little way off from the hide. So I get the converter out of the bag, fit it to the camera then fit the lens to the converter, clunk clack twist clack lock. OK 800 mm and £1500 worth of top glass, I focus in on the deer annnnnnnnnnnnnddddd …. CLICK!CLOCK! CLICK!CLOCK! CLICK!CLOCK! CLICK!CLOCK! CLICK!CLOCK! Yes they are a very satisfying series of pictures methinks.

Sadly Mrs Bouquet and her fella look like I just farted. I think they see me as a serious intrusion. Well I can’t help the noise of the camera. Oh there’s some birds landing on the water …CLICK! CLOCK! CLICK! CLOCK! Yep that did it. Mrs B heads out the door with her fella like a good little puppy behind her with a polite smile and a forced “Goodbye” and leave the hide, but I hear them go down to the bottom level and open windows down there. OK. That’s fair enough. Now I can really fill my boots and pick my nose cos it’s been itching for ages.

I stayed another little while taking pictures then put the stuff away, woke the dog and we trundled off out of the hide. As we came down the stairs I could hear a creaking noise, and I wondered if Mrs B and her man would be joining me for the walk back through the forest. Then I heard more noises, I swear I  was sure they were going to hide in case I came in the bottom part. I felt like doing just that but more noise from inside stopped me. It was more regular now, cre-ak ee-ek cre-ak ee-ek cre-ak ee-ek. I listened at the door, heard soft whispers then, creak eek creak eek creak eek getting faster. Oh my God I thought, they’re not! Sure enough though the creak eek turned into a creak! creak! creak! creak! creak! creak! Hahaha I couldn’t resist poking my nose through the slatted door and there, sure enough was puppy man, giving Mrs B  a bone as she bent over the bench in the hide!  Well I was fit to bust and felt like bursting in and asking what the hell they were doing. But they were right into it and Puppy man was really going hell for leather. Mrs B was not the Bouquet she appeared, cos she’s talking a bit dirty to him and clinging on to the side of the bench for dear life.

Well I thought, so that’s what they do at Derby and Joan days out! I decide to leave them to their fun and I set off with the dog to head back to Studland.

Some weeks later, I was at a friends house and unusually for me was watching his TV while waiting for him to come back. Guess who appeared on TV!!

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Old Harry Rocks

Old Harry rocks
Old Harry rocks

If you walk for about 3 weeks east of Studland, you eventually (if you can still see) see this view. You know you’re not that far now 🙂

Old Harry Rocks are typical chalk cliffs that have been eroded, leaving some as pinnacles sticking out of the sea. They’d really be quite nice in the sunshine so I took some photos over two days hoping for some sunshine but alas, there was none to be had.

Corfe Castle

Silhouette of Corfe castle
Corfe castle

My mate suggested a day out at Corfe Castle as she lives not far from it.  Although I like castles, I’m not hugely into ruined ones. I mean … what’s the point? Nevertheless I trundled along and me and her lad did some man stuff while she gasped for breath walking up the road from the car park hahaha

The very odd thing was, the entrance to the castle is diametrically opposite the car park, which means we walked around for 10-15 minutes before we realised where we should be. That was weird as it was just not signposted where the entrance was.

Anyway, what a fab day out! It turns out there was a group who do reconstructions of the civil war there and they were entertaining that day. They don’t just do a display of guns and pikes, they chatter with the crowd, eat, get drunk and generally enjoy themselves. They have living tents set up so you can see just how they would have lived in those days which was really informative and fun.
(They did actually ask me to join them which I was keen to do, but they’ve never written to my email address or phoned me grr!)

I was entertaining the queen at one point when a man came into the royal tent offering me sixpence if he could “have a go at my buxom harlot!” hahaha class it was. I said ‘no I wouldn’t want to rob you’ so my mate got all indignant at me inferring she wasn’t worth sixpence and said she’d give it up for a nice juicy apple if he was interested. I think the man was actally taken aback for a second cos my mate is quite gorgeous and he wasn’t sure if she was kidding or not heh heh He seemed relieved when I assured him that the apple would taste much better than her and he should just eat it.

I secretly tried to sell her 12 year old but the little brat ran off as we were about to strike the deal!

There was a chap there making pikes. He’d joined the group as a volunteer and although he worked full time, he devoted all of his spare time during summer to making pikes for them. He even joined a wood working class so he’d have proper skills. He loved being part of the group and was also quite knowledgeable about pike-making.

The ruins are actually quite interesting as ruins go and the banter with the group was so much fun, so all in all it was a really nice day that we enjoyed a lot.

Tyneham, ghost village.

Church at Tyneham
Tyneham chapel

My friend told me about Tyneham when I was in Dorset. She said it was a village that was abandoned during the war.

Indeed when I did check it out, it seems the MOD as was then, asked everyone to leave so they could borrow the village and surrounding areas for target practice and training troops. Following the war they sought a compulsory purchase order and bought the lot off those who lived there.

It’s quite atmospheric visiting the place, with school work still available for perusal in the school and the telephone box still standing outside the post office.  The long laundry room is in tatters as are most of the other buildings as you can see from the photos, but there’s some poignant stories recorded around the site.

It’s a beautiful area and up the hill are some fantastic views of the training grounds proper, including wrecked tanks that they use for target practice.

Definitely worth half a day and only 10 minutes drive from the privately owned Kimmeridge Bay.