Friday, 24 August 2012

Fun loving, sweet natured female would like to meet........

I am sitting watching the water from our over flowing gutter splurge down the window and onto my long suffering geraniums that have yet to flower. We are now at the beginning of the Summer bank holiday.....ha! The Curate and I are fortunate to have had our holiday and now he is back at work. I am wrestling with restlessness as we wait for the Curate to be able to apply for his next job. I am in limbo....again. But at least I am not in a tent! (My heart goes out to all the happy campers who have arrived in the West Country today - I hope that they can find a dry pitch.)

There has been a few developments on our home front that have been distracting me and which may impact on our lives - if all goes to plan. The Collie has responded to a local advert and he is in the process of getting to know a very lively young lady collie. At the moment it is just walking and talking and meeting on the moor. He seems very taken with her. She is a little in awe of him at the moment but these things take time! I wonder if there will be the patter of tiny paws before Christmas?
 We are managing to get out onto the moor between showers and The Curate and I are still climbing tors and we record the trig points we have conquered by highlighting them on the map in our downstairs cloakroom. Our latest walk was up Sourton Tor (1447ft). We were able to dash up and down between the rain showers. The views were excellent and we had the fun of finding a letterbox.
We have not really got involved in Dartmoor letterboxing which involves finding hidden boxes (similar to Geocaching but without the technology) but it is always fun when we stumble across a box on one of our walks. There is usually a sealed box which contains a rubber stamp and a place to leave your own stamp. You then return the box to its hiding place and continue your walk whilst taking in the  views.

 And it doesn't rain all the time!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Stone circles

Merrivale Stone Row at sunset
The Curate and I still enjoy exploring Dartmoor. The Collie loves the open spaces and we love the ever changing skies and scenery. But I am also fascinated by the remains of ancient stone structures that we come across. The stone hut circles are thought to belong to the Bronze age and we often come across these circular groups of stones that once formed the base of a Bronze Age hut. They had a conical roof supported by one central pole and the floors were covered in slabs of stone. They are usually in groups and you can begin to imagine the village life that went on in the area.

Recently I rode out to one of the the stone rows that can be found on Dartmoor. Nobody seem quite certain what these were constructed for. You are left to imagine why these long rows of standing stones were placed with considerable effort and skill in the open moorland. This one seemed to run from east to west and may have been aligned with the rising and setting sun.

Another favourite walk for us is to the standing stones at Merrivale. Different times of the day and the changing light seem to change the feel of this ancient site. Dartmoor has a way of getting under my skin. It stimulates the imagination and arouses the senses and makes you stop and stare at its sheer magnificence.

Should we have to leave this area, I know that there are other places that have similar intriguing history that would need to be explored..........

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Isle of Man in August

The Tower of Refuge in Douglas harbour.

Empty beaches in August (Douglas)
The Isle of Man has captured my heart  with its variety of scenery, weather and people. What a great place to visit in August - the beaches were empty, parking mostly free and no queues! And yet The Curate and I would never have visited except for being introduced to the Isle as part of exploring church vacancies. We returned this time under our own steam to explore a little more fully. It is definitely an interesting place to visit - either for the famous TT racing or in the quieter weeks. 

Snaefell 2013 feet above sea level (Top)

We have taken the mountain railway to the top of Snaefell, visited places from east to west and north to south. I hope that we will be able to return again because we still have more to see!
Maughold (East)
Point of Ayre (North)
Peel (West) and warm enough to swim.

Castletown (South) with nasturtiums on the beach.
And seals on the beach at the Calf of Man (south)

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Visiting vicarages

The Curate and I have had a great few days visiting vicarages and exploring the Isle of Man. Lots to think about! It was gloriously sunny for all of our visit. I am told that this is not usual and I did notice people were still in jeans and jumpers when we were in shorts and T-shirts.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

How time flies

Sophie Duffy

I can't believe that it is almost a year since I met with Sophie Duffy, the author of The Generation Game and now, This Holey Life. I was reading The Generation Game as my summer read last summer and I was interested to know more about the author as I knew that she lived in my locality. I was a little riled to find that Sophie Duffy was talking about her new book that was to be about a 'reluctant curate's wife' who was coming to terms with a bereavement and her husband's new - found faith. I had just ended my first blog 'The (reluctant) curate's wife' which was recording my response to unexpectedly finding myself in the role of curate's wife. It seemed too much of a co-incidence  but co-incidence it was, as I found out after contacting Sophie and arranging to meet her in the nearby city. 

It was a rather surreal situation - meeting a stranger in a cafe for coffee to discuss her books! I had seen her publicity photographs but she had no idea how she would recognise me. She assured me that she would find me (can you spot a curate's wife?). As it was, I followed her into the cafe and we had an enjoyable discussion. Sophie has won various literary prizes and I was interested to hear how much dedication and courage it takes to become a published author. The Generation Game had intriguing twists and was set in a familiar era and locations which made it an ideal holiday read for me. This Holey Life promises to be an equally engaging book and I looking forward to reading it next week when The Curate and I return to the Isle of Man.

We collected a copy when we drove over to see Sophie launch her new book last week. In amongst the acknowledgements there is one 'to all those vicar's wives (and husbands, of course) for shining a light, day in, day out.' You will also find one to 'the once reluctant curate's wife'! I can't believe it was a year ago that we sat and chatted over coffee - so much has happened since then.