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A day late, a day early…



Ben

The blog is getting very erratic these days isn’t it? A day late, a day early. How does anyone know where they stand? But  we’re down in Dorset, waiting for my brother and family to arrive, and it’s a quiet evening with the fire flickering, and we’ve had a beautiful day down here, and it’s a busy day tomorrow…and it feels like a good moment to sit down and share a few photographs. This afternoon Charlie and I went for an amazing walk on Eggardon Hill.

Can I confess something, that local West Dorset readers will find a bit shocking? I’ve driven past Eggardon a thousand times, and written about it more than once, including the very very early days of this blog (May 2009, anyone?)  but I’ve got to be honest… I’ve never actually stopped. I think I’ve always been too busy, as they say. In a bit of a rush to get down to Powerstock to see Jane and Johnny Holland, or, well, I don’t know to where or what.  So with nothing to do this afternoon, and a perfect, clear-blue-skied day, with the brilliant December sunshine casting long, low shadows across the countryside, we meandered over to Eggardon.

The views from the ancient hill fort are remarkable. You’re not quite on top of the world, but you are on top of West Dorset.

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We were virtually alone, save one or two other walkers, taking in the view.P1050174 P1050175

There is something almost poetic in the gentle folds of the ancient hills, run with sheep tracks.P1050176 P1050181 P1050187 P1050189 P1050192 P1050199 P1050200 P1050204

Towards the end of our walk we came across a lone falconer:P1050213 P1050215

P1050214The grass was laced with a fine covering of spiders webs, and the sea turned a silver-gold colour.

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We decided to drive over to see my friends Gracie and Adrian, stopping on the way to admire my dream Dorset house, Wynford Eagle Manor.P1050228

Gracie and Adrian live in Toller Fratrum, where they run their fantastic small press, Little Toller Books, which I have written about before and goes from strength to strength. Check out the brilliant website for their books.  And Adrian runs wonderful Common Ground from the office next door, announced by this beautiful stone at the step. I have always loved Common Ground and it’s fantastic to see it in such safe and interesting hands.P1050231

I always love a surprise visit so much more than long-made plans. We had a lovely afternoon with Gracie and Adrian and an early gin-and-tonic or two, and came home by darkness across the tiny lanes from theirs to ours. And now it’s supper time, and for once I’m off to cook. Tomorrow is my Mum’s 80s birthday party celebration, which is strangely rather exciting. And so the year rolls softly to its end, but nothing prepares me for days of such startling beauty as this.

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