Very Delayed Catch Up

Thursday, 21 December 2023 14:02

It is almost two weeks since I last got around to posting on my blog. A mixture of a heavy cold and leaving Christmas planning till the last minute is the explanation not an excuse. Here are a few pictures from a lovely few days in the West Country with Helen, Paul and Alistair, disrupting their major plans for an international family Christmas. I am sure they will be completely organised, as usual, for their visitors from France. We spent a fine winter day on the edge of Poole Harbour at Arne, grabbing a bite and drink at the Square and Compass on the way home. The following day, on a damp winter day, we made a visit to the highest grass airfield in England at Compton Abbas, near Shaftesbury. Brunch in the renovated Cafe was excellent. The airfield is undergoing a bit of a transformation following its purchase by Guy Ritchie, of “Lock, Stock….” fame. The transformation is all positive. No flying was on the cards as the cloud base was pretty much at the level of the runway. No views and rain meant a change of plan from some of the fine walks in the area to a gentle stroll and a pint in Shaftesbury itself, made famous by Ridley and Tony Scott with their classic Hovis ad shot on Gold Hill, above and below. It appears that there is an infestation of crochet people at least on post boxes. There is a very nice terrace over the Somerset landscape and the clothes are a giveaway for the weather. In the landscape picture, Compton Abbas airfield is on the horizon on the left. RSPB Arne has a range of habitats from Dorset heathland, woodland and shoreline with some salt marsh. It is just across the bay from the town of Poole which seems to be in a building boom. There was some wildlife out on the shore and in the woods and multiple sightings of sika deer to add even more interest. I’ll finish with two shots which illustrate the difference a day can make, the first from Arne and the second from Compton Abbas when we ‘dashed’ to the car after brunch and between showers.