Hello, hello my lovelies! Good to be back in the Attic after an unexpectedly long break, it's been half term week for us here which has meant my time has been taken up with the Littlies, oh and a home-from-work husband too. We've been quite lazy actually, staying close to home and using the time to recharge a little. We've all five of us had the same head cold, I'm the last one to get it so am just starting out but the others have been in full snot-mode all week.
But this post isn't about germs or staying home, it's about scooting up into the wide blue yonder and gazing at the clouds!
Yes, I've been away again, snook away by myself to spend a few days with my parents, much as I did in July. I booked my flight a few months ago so I've had the pleasure of looking forward to it as the weeks have passed and Summer has slipped into Autumn.
I absolutely love to travel by plane, it never fails to thrill me. The sky was beautifully clear when I flew last weekend, allowing me to spend the entire hour gazing out of the window watching the changing landscape unfolding below.
Travelling by myself is a real pleasure, it always feels like so much more than simply getting from A to B. I love the feeling of lightness and freedom it brings, stepping off the plane, walking to the nearby train station, knowing that ahead of me lies ninety minutes of pure Time Out. A time to sit quietly, sip a latté and gaze at the passing landscape. Maybe a weeny bit of hooky, or a chapter of a book. Or maybe just allowing time to drift in and out of thoughts and memories.
The train takes me to Dorchester, the "County Town" of Dorset where I indulge in some minor retail therapy and treat myself to a new necklace in the sale at a favourite shop. From Dorchester I ride by bus through the familiar patchwork of fields, waiting for the exact point when I can finally see the sea, just like I did as a child. What an enjoyable four-part journey :: car, plane, train and bus.
The following morning I wake to the sound of seagulls overhead. It's such a novel sensation to wake of ones own accord, I am so used to being pulled out of my dream-sleep by Little B calling me "Mama! Mama! Mama!"
Mid morning and I set out walking, through Bridport town and out across the green fields to the coast. I'm headed for the harbour of course, the place I am always pulled to on any first-morning-in-Dorset.
It's very windy at the coast, great gusts of wind whip around the small harbour, tossing the boats to and fro on the water. The sky is heavy and grey. But oh my, it is completely deeeeeeeeeeeelicious. It is wild and windy and salty and fresh and invigorating, the best Sunday morning tonic e-v-e-r.
I am heading to my favourite cafe to meet with family, to chit and chat over coffee and a bite to eat. This is only the second time I've been to this cafe, but it has really crept into my heart and taken hold. I love love love it here. I love that the condiments are kept in bright plastic seaside buckets. I love the light and airy decor, the strings of fabric bunting, the sweet artwork on the walls, the bright splashes of vibrant colour. And I love that on this day there is an incredible bucket of fresh scarlet amaryllis sitting on the counter. It's just my kind of place, the cafe of my dreams.
We are a tad too late for the breakfast menu, so we order lunch :: I go for "griddled halloumi and roasted butternut squash skewers". I am with my family :: my Dad and his partner, my Mum and her partner, and they are quite stunned when I get out my camera and photograph my lunch before eating it. But, I say, just look at it! It's so good to look at!! The colours are stunning - golden orange and vibrant green against red and white checks! And besides, I really want to remember this delicious lunch and the best way I know of remembering is to take a photograph. I forget sometimes what an oddity it is to record life in this way. Oh, and in case you were wondering, lunch was deeeeeelicious.
After lunch we head out to take a wild and windy walk along the pier. My-my, it is AWeSoMe to experience the sea in high winds. It smashes and crashes onto the shingle beach, the very noise of it is loud and energetic and fantastic.
We venture to the very end of the pier and prepare to get a little wet as the waves splash up and over. The feel of salty sea spray on my face and the taste of it in the air is something I vividly remember from childhood. It fills me with joy, truly it does.
Evidence of the local fishing industry is piled high around the harbour.......
......and I love to see all this paraphanalia here, love to be reminded that West Bay is still an honest, working harbour at heart.
This is my Mum's cottage beside the river, and I had the pleasure of staying the night here last Sunday. When I'm down in Dorset with the rest of the family in tow it's not possible for us to sleep here as it's waaay too small. But on my own I was able to stay in the small single bedroom, and I really appreciated the quality time spent with my Mum. She is remarkably well and in good spirits these days, so hard to believe that we almost lost her in June.
Would you like to have a little peek around my Mum's place? It's an incredible little patch of rural England, I'm sure you'll love it.
See in the picture above, the painted door in the old stone wall there? Well that's actually the entrance to a secret little bit of the garden, let's go through.........
...........this is a weeny little secret garden with a small patch of grass and a beautiful view over the river. To the left is the log store, and in front is Grandpa B's shed which he built himself entirely from recycled materials.
To the back door now, this is where you come into the cottage.......
......you have to walk through this old lean-to before entering the cottage kitchen. I adore this working part of the cottage, love that Mum has all sorts of plants growing away in here including an olive tree and a climbing clematis which scrambles right up and across the roof.
This is a corner of the small sitting room, the walls of the cottage are very thick making for deep, cosy windowsills.
And this is the magnificent old Esse multi fuel stove. There's no central heating in the cottage, and being so close to the river makes it prone to feel cold so the stove is often lit, even in summer. It's the cosiest feeling to sit curled up on the sofa in front of the stove with a hot cuppa to hand. Add in a bit of hooky and it reaches high on my Pleasure-o-meter.
This is the little bedroom window looking out onto the field beside the river. Such a lush green view to wake up to, and I adore those curly-wurly old window latches.
I slept so soundly that night, cosied up in the little single bed with a hot water bottle in it's crocheted granny-square cover. Lovely memories.
I was away from the Attic for three nights, it was so very good of J to suggest that I take this wee break away to see my folks. He is a such a sweetheart. In some ways the time whizzed by, but in other ways it felt like I'd been away for ages. I alternated between revelling in my freedom and missing the children like mad.
When the time came, I enjoyed travelling home, I really did. J and the Little Peeps came to meet me from the airport, and I got the distinct feeling that I'd been desperately missed. I was bowled over with so many hugs and cuddles, it made me feel great!
Ahhhh I'm one Lucky Lady I'd say, such a great little family I have.