So much has happened since I last added content that I hardly know where to pick up. This post may have to end up like the last exam I sat at Uni, consisting mainly of bullet points as I had so much to say and so little time. Well on this occasion I had so little battery remaining on my iPad.
Three nights spent at Nomansland was enough for anyone. We achieved our main goals of a) walking in the New Forest
b) having a cream tea at Burley
c) visiting friends in Poole.We often talked of parking up somewhere in the new forest, popping the kettle on and after a light lunch at the car, heading off for a walk in the forest. There always seemed so much to pack into a small car that it was rather more effort that reward but with our camper conversion everything was already loaded into its designated space and the addition of our two camping chairs we were ever ready when the opportunity arose. After the obligatory stop in Lyndhurst, the epicentre of the New Forest, to buy a pasty from 'Tasty Pastie'... The shop that, I swear, has not changed at all in the 20 or so years that I have been visiting it. Thankfully nether Costa, Starbucks or even Greggs has taken a hold in this quaint tourist town. We found a suitable picnic spot in a wooded glade just a little way off the main road, adjacent to some open spaces that we could happily walk without fear of getting lost. Although our phones contained a compass app I wasn't quite sure how that would help if you didn't even know the position of the carpark but Vikki assured me that our phone has a facility that could lead you back to where you parked your car. Confused, she explained to me that the phone can sense the movement to know that you are driving (or at least travelling in a car) so it would also know when you stop driving and start walking and it would know the gprs location when walking commenced. First of all I thought 'what a handy thing to have' and then I thought it was a bit intrusive ... But Im sure the function has been used far more for good purposes than sinister.
The forest didn't disappoint, we had a short walk before the ground became boggy in every direction and after last years 'lost trainers in the mud' incident we weren't taking any chances this time. We didn't see any animals other than birds flitting in and around patches of high gorse, although we could hear the ever present ponies teasing us, out of sight but within earshot of a neigh every now and then. We took some photos and I picked a little heather and gathered some fir cones by way of treasure to take home to show our granddaughter. Next time I feel short of breath and claustrophobic from the pressures of everyday life I will imagine myself back there and remember what it was like to breathe in that air, taking deep breaths of the kind of air you only get in big open paces.
B) cream tea in Burley, after stopping to buy sugar mice for my youngest daughter. Last time I swear they were only 60p each... Now you can only buy them in bags of 3 for £2.99... She's worth it. She has had a sugar mouse from Burley for the last 23 years and we couldn't refuse her this
time. Our picnic pasty had been some 2 hours ago so we felt sure that we were ready for afternoon tea. We had forgotten just how big the scones were with the afternoon tea and we certainly didn't need the side order of bloomer toast that we felt sure we could manage. Still we managed to polish it all off, washed down with a pot of tea. Number two crossed off the list.
C) Stacey recently moved from Kent to live with her fiancé Glenn who is Dorset born and bred and although we had seen them a few times since this was the first visit we made to their home. After alovely brunch of croissants and Danish pastries we set off in their car for a guided tour of the local sights. (You might notice much mention of food... We have both been on a healthy eating plan since February and between us have lost nearly 8 stone in weight so scones, croissant and pastry has not figured in our diet for quite some time).
Having been to Poole many times and always being a little underwhelmed I was thrilled to see a beautiful park on the waters edge and the most
spectacular beach that we walked with their tiny sausage dog Hugo. He is only a puppy and gets so excited to see people that he does a little wee, every time he did it I just kept thinking 'thank goodness he is a small dog' can you imagine the puddles a giant schnauzer would create.
After the walk we took the chain ferry from sandbanks to Studland on the Isle of Purbeck, it is possible to drive around to it but this way saved some 40 minutes at a cheap price of £4.60. The trip across was just long enough to get out of the car and go on deck to pose for a selfie.
The sun had been shining all morning and we were somewhat pink from the beach walk but by the time we arrived at our destination it was dull, overcast with very low cloud. We were high up on a
hill at a place neither of us had visited before, Worthmatravers and the square and compass pub. GLenn assured us that on a clear day the views from this spot were amazing and worth the trip. Nevertheless the pub was packed inside and out, you could hear live music coming from inside
teasing us as there wasn't a square inch available inside. The pub looked to be a 16th Century house with a ramshackle roof and most uneven walls, inside was equally as higgledy piggeldy with a bar of less than a metre in length we queued from the door to place our order. They pressed their own cider here so it would have been rude not to sample some, I had to try a second just to be sure the quality of the dry was as good as the sweet... And it was. One of the lasting memories I will have of the pub was the extensive menu. Steak Pasty, cheese and vegetable pie, Dorset apple cake (hot or cold) and olives. Nothing on the menu cost more than £3.60 and I swear it was the best bit of cheese and veg pie I have ever tasted. I only hope this tiny pub is as well frequented in the winter months as it clearly is in the summer as gems like this need to survive if only to remind us what life was like before Weatherspoons.