All posts by VP

It’s a blog about gardening, allotmenteering and my life based in Chippenham, Wiltshire. Spiced with a sense of humour, but also insightful, it reflects my wide ranging interests. Poised on the cusp of a life shift, I’m a Jill of all trades, interested in everything that happens along my path.

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Friday Bench: With cowslips

An unexpected continuance of last week’s bench with spring wild flowers theme. I’ve been meaning for ages to photograph the restored ex bench in the Donkey Field nearby.

A walk back from town in the spring sunshine last week provided the ideal opportunity… and the discovery of a flash of butter yellow cowslips to brighten my view.

Looking at the previous photo, it’s interesting to see how the bench’s surroundings have changed. When it was an ex bench there was lush growth around it. Today’s bare ground and a stray pop bottle suggests it’s well used.

It’s that usage which probably allowed the cowslips to re-emerge or take hold for the first time. Around here they thrive and provide delight where the grass is kept relatively short.

At the start… or end

Distinctive sculptures mark each end of the South West Coastal Path, currently the longest walking trail in England* at over 600 miles. This is the one found at Minehead and was put in place in 2001.

* = there is a project underway to create a coastal path around the whole of Britain. The Wales Coast Path has now superseded this one at around 870 miles and Wales is currently the only country in the world with a path around its entire coastline.

The furrow followed free

“The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, the furrow followed free.”

~ The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

For me, one of the highlights of a trip on the West Somerset Railway is seeing the above quotation on a building as the train pulls into Watchet station. Sadly on Sunday it wasn’t to be seen. However, we did find the Ancient Mariner’s statue by the harbour.

The town is proud of its connection with Coleridge and being the inspiration for one of his most famous poems. I love how this has been translated into the statue’s floral adornment. Perhaps the daffodils are a nod to Coleridge’s friendship with Wordsworth?

At Washford station we learnt how the harbour at Watchet was made into a floating harbour like the one at Bristol for the Millennium, but the alterations led to problems with silting and the constant need for dredging. Here’s hoping Watchet harbour isn’t on course to being becalmed, just like the Ancient Mariner. It’s a lovely place to visit.

Friday Bench: In the news

It’s not often that a bench hits the international headlines. Even less so when it appears to be at the centre of a spy drama. The fact that it’s such an ordinary bench and around 40 miles from me means it just had to feature as a Friday Bench.

There’s no photo as they’re copyright, so you’ll need to take the link.

Friday Bench: Spun

We embark on a series of guest benches courtesy of Barbara and her recent trip to South Africa. Thanks for adding a new country to Sign of the Times, Barbara!

Zeitz MOCAA opened in September 2017 and the contemporary re-design of the original waterfront grain silos was by Thomas Heatherwick; he of the new London bus and 2012 Olympic flame fame.

Heatherwick Studios also designed today’s featured seats. They’re called ‘Spun‘.