20 September 2013

Castles and graveyards

Dear Coco
Now that everyone has gone to bed, except Beth who seems to stay up all night, I will endeavour to continue our letter ...
 On Saturday we visited Corfe Castle - which is close to Yoah Cottage - and managed to find a parking spot in the village close to the castle which you can see up on the hill.
There were great high jinks going on there with lots of people dressed in old fashioned clothes and carrying pikes, showing visitors how soldiers hundreds of years ago would have defended the castle against attack. 
They then set about firing muskets and causing the audience to scream - and some kids to cry - but I couldn't help thinking of how Dougal would have hated it! 
 We wandered around this ruined castle and read some interesting stuff about how dogs were used as hot water bottles not so very long ago. Sounds like a good idea to me! Not sure if the Alph would approve though.
 When we came back down, a whole lot of children had been given pikes and were marching round with the soldiers. 
We then went to Lullworth Cove which is famous for its fossils and is a World Heritage Site, and walked out to the cliffs which are crumbling into the sea a bit. They seem to have special loos for dogs here!
We walked to the cliffs in the wind and rain, and dropped into the rather tatty little visitor centre where most of the 500 000 tourists who visit this famous place seemed to have squashed into as well! So we got out fast and on our way back to the car, we found a bucket tree.
We drove back to the little town of Upwey, almost in Dorchester, where Mom's grandfather was born and spent his childhood. The churchyard had a few familiar names and we wondered how many of them must be related to us.
And we found a little green man high up one of the pillars inside the church.
We then went in search of a pub for dinner and found one just around the block. You can see our little Hyundai in the middle of this photo.
 On Sunday we said a sad farewell to Rosemary and Furse of Yoah Cottage,
 and their camera-shy cat Thomas,
 and set off down to the Chesil (which is a beach) past some picturesque sheep
 and some lovely views over Dorset.
 On the beach there is no sea sand - only pebbles. It is all part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.
Mom on the pebbly beach at Chesil -which is very near to Lyme Regis where the famous Mary Anning and her dog Tray used to hunt for fossils for fossil collectors in Victorian times.
On our way to our next destination - Cornwall - we stopped at a stately home that Mom wanted to see again - called Cotehele. It is just over the Tamar River - where Cornwall starts. This is a painting of a the start of a hunt in the courtyard of the house which involves a whole lot of baying shouting hounds and horses with people in fancy clothes on them that chase after one little fox. It has been banned now as most English people object to it but I am sure the dogs had fun chasing that fox!.
Before we went through the house we had a tasty "Cornish clotted cream tea" with scones and Earl Grey tea in the National Trust tea-room there. What fun!
It was quite a long drive to the next B&B - a large Victorian house overlooking the sea at Veryan. This is the vew from our large and elegant bedroom. 
But more about Cornwall tomorrow - its late and I am tired. I hear that you managed to get your nose bitten by one of the neighbour's dogs. Really Coco! I hope it is healing up well. The Alph tells me that you also grabbed poor Laddie's lead and shook it like you used to do to Dougal, but poor Laddie was rather shaken around too. But I am glad that you are feeling happier again Coco, and I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday. 
lots of love from the Food Lady (and Jethro - the Schroeder's black labradorable sends woofs and licks)

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