Thursday, 12 August 2010

Dartmoor walk

Good walk on Sunday up on the moor (well a bit of it).  Parked up at Belstone (I used to love this place as a child as one of my favorite films when I was little was based there) and then walked down to the bottom of the East Okement Valley (you have to go under the A30, which is very noisy and really rather horrible, but once you get into the Valley you soon loose the sound of the road!).  The valley is lovely with the Okement running through it, burbling and bubbling over the rocks, forming deep pools and waterfalls.  There was hardly a soul about, a very magical place.

Eventually you come up onto the moor and we managed to leave the path and go straight up (for me) a rather steep hill; we did discover that of course there is a path which is not quite so steep!  We lunched in the shadow of Scary and Belstone Tors at the Nine Maidens (a stone ring); and then walked (I staggered as I have rubbish socks and had sore feet) back down to Belstone and a well deserved beer in the pub there.  I have attached a link to a rather nice descripton of the nine maidens and the folklaw attached to them.

Belstone is probably our nearest access point to the moor and there is lots of walks you can do from there.  You do need to be fairly careful as there is a military firing range close by, but you can check the firing schedule on-line so you know which bits you can access and which bits you can't.  They don't seem to fire much on this bit of the moor anyway.  Seems like we have quite a few walks to do up there now which will be lovely.

Oh yes, nearly forgot.  As we were on our walk we noticed a sign saying 'Permissive Path', it of course means a path that a landowner can close if he wants to.  I must admit having visions of walking down the path and finding lots of 'liberal' activities going on! (permissive society!?). :)

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Country life update

I am afraid that we have summer, back in June, just the same as the last 2 or 3 years.  Very disappointing and is such a shame for all the folks who come down here for their holidays.  Suppose we must be thankful that we are not having the terrible flooding that is currently happening in some parts of the world.

The veggies are coming on and we have had our first runner and french beans.  Sadly the runners are not as tasty as the ones last year, I thought I would try a different variety, won't be doing that again!  Our tomatoes are ripening very slowly and I am concerned about blight, but we are treating them.  Our peas are over but seem to be flowering again.  The caulis are a disaster, have never been able to grow them well so might not bother next year.

We have new cattle in the fields and the farmer has done his second silage cut, in a short sunny gap in the weather. 

We fancy doing some walking but our waterproofs need waterproofing and everywhere is so muddy underfoot.  
Charlie cat sadly has not been responding to his insulin treatment and is now confirmed as having a growth hormone disorder called Acromegaly which is why he is not responding to the insulin.  There really isn't much we can do to treat the Acromegaly but we are going to talk to the vet about anything else we can do to help try to keep his blood glucose down.  Sadly, it is only a matter of time for him, but currently he seems happy, still hunts and likes to lie in the sun when it is out, so we just give him lots of care and cuddles and hopefully can keep him happy for as long as possible.

Inspiration for making glass beads

This is a poem from my childhood which inspired my love of all things glass, particuarly green (and blue) glass.


Nymph, nymph, what are your beads?
Green glass, goblin. Why do you stare at them?
Give them me.
Give them me. Give them me.
Then I will howl all night in the reeds,
lie in the mud and howl for them.
Goblin, why do you love them so?
They are better than stars or water,
Better than voices of winds that sing,
Better than any man’s fair daughter,
Your green glass beads on a silver ring.
Hush, I stole them out of the moon.
Give me your beads, I want them.
I will howl in a deep lagoon
For your green glass beads, I love them so.
Give them me. Give them.