Tuesday 2 June 2015

Among Drifts of Sea Thrift

 Back rested and revived from my few days away on the Isle of Portland. On arrival at Weymouth, the beach was packed with families enjoying the sun ( and a traditional  Punch and Judy show) - very different from when we visited in March! The first thing I did after I'd dropped my bags off  at the hotel was head out to the  Chesil Beach visitor centre. This was also busy with  visitors - you could hear the determined crunch of feet  heading up the slope from quite a way off. But only a few metres away it was much  more peaceful. The expanse of pink and yellow flowers was glorious and I found a sheltered spot to sketch crouched down among drifts of sea thrift, listening to the sky larks. 

Refreshed after a good night's sleep, I  walked directly from the hotel on one of the 'Legacy  Trails' of the old quarries including DWT King Barrow Quarries nature reserve.  More pinks and yellows including some of my old  favourites from my chalk grassland survey days:

 Polygala vulgaris ( milkwort)
 Hieraceum pilosella ( mouse-ear hawkweed)

 Lots of Common Blue butterflies
 Sculpture both natural wind blown trees and hewn from  stone  like 'Still Falling' by Antony  Gormley ( below) in Tout Quarry
Then a  walk down hill  to lunch at   Jacksons' Gallery with views out to sea and excellent soup, coffee and Florentines .

 Inspired  by  the current exhibition by Roy Winstanley , I walked down to Chiswell  and onto the beach for some sketching  and taking lots of photos of weathered surfaces and beach detritus.  
  With good timing, I was  in the area during the  ArtWey open studios fortnight so with the weather the following day being rather wet and windy , I headed inland  by bus to Upwey. Bit of a trek from the bus stop   but I was made very welcome at the Gallery on the Wey  ( particularly liked the etchings of Wendy Batt) .

I had a lovely lunch at the Wishing Well Café  after some purchases from Upwey Potters:
                                           Raku 'axe head'  by Bill Crumbleholme
   Dish by Laurence Eastwood
The Heights hotel where I stayed was a very different experience from our usual 'home-from home' of Ferrybridge Cottages  but perfect for a  brief breathing space . My room was comfortable  and the staff  so helpful and I spent hours looking out at this view  of Chesil from the bistro -  both at breakfast and evening meals I had a window seat. Spectacular. 

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