Thursday 20 October 2016

Sense of Place art installation at Brean Down Fort

On Sunday we set out for a walk along Brean Down, a local headland jutting out into the Bristol Channel. We wanted to visit the "Sense of Place" art installation at the Napolionic fort situated at the end of this piece of land. I had been wanting to visit for a while, but a nasty cold got in the way of our plans.

This week we were all fighting fit and raring to go. As you can see from the photo at the top of this post...Mr. M and Magoo were really raring to go! We had been talking about how the BFG would be able to jump and stride onto Steep Holm (the little island in the distance). I suggested they see how far they could jump and this photo was the end result. It has had a really positive reaction over on my Instagram feed. I think it was one of those moments when I pressed the shutter at just the right time. I love the energy and it makes me smile every time I look at it...

I've been walking along Brean Down since I was a little girl - it's an atmospheric place, bleak and beautiful all in one. I was so pleased to hear that a group of artists had collaborated to put together the "Sense of Place" installation within the wall of the fort at the end of Brean Down.

I couldn't take many photos of the actual exhibits because the Officers Quarters and various ammunition tunnels where the art was housed were very dark and my camera couldn't cope with the low light levels. If you head over to the "Sense of Place" Facebook page you can see more photos of the artwork being created and installed. You can also visit the Somerset Cool blog to see the images they captured a few weeks ago.

The fort is fascinating, steeped in history and pretty eerie. Just looking at soldiers names carved into the stone walls gives you an idea of how bored, homesick and scared they must've been. The "Sense of Place" installation attempted to tune into this history and I found it very moving. I loved the large groups of candles lighting the darkest rooms and it added to the atmosphere of each piece.

Brean Down's fort was built to defend the country against a possible Napoleonic invasion. The fort is now a ruin, but we still love walking around the buildings and have visited a few times with Magoo. The photo above shows a barrack window with views looking back at the landscape at Brean Down. People have lived & worked on this piece of land for thousands of years. This peninsula is very exposed and life must have been hard for anyone deployed to the fort...

The walk started out grey and overcast, but the strong winds steadily blew the clouds away. By the time we were due to head back the Autumn sun was shining. It was incredibly windy up on the top of Brean Down, but at least it pushed the gloomy skies away. Definitely one of our favourite walks to blow away the certainly clears your head up there.

This week I'm linking up to these lovely blogs:

"Point + Shoot" over on

"Whatever the Weather" over on

"Country Kids" over on

Tuesday 11 October 2016

A year on the allotment: September 2016

I'm a little behind with posting my September update. I am now training to become a Teaching Assistant and started the associated college course three weeks ago. The last time I was in that particular college was *cough* twenty years ago. As I head towards my 40th birthday this December, it's good to set my sights on a new career path and keep my grey matter ticking over.

A year on the allotment sunflowers in september

So, in between college work, a school placement and my Shared Lives work, my poor blog is getting neglected. Sadly, I don't have as much time for the allotment either, but things are winding down on the plot now, so I wont stress about it...

September was all about harvesting and sunflowers. Last year I blogged about our huge sunflowers, which were short but had flower heads like dinner plates. This year our sunflowers grew to over ten feet tall, but had much smaller flowers. Throughout the Summer our sunflowers have been covered in bees. You can see the beautiful pollen dusted all over the flower head, no wonder the pollinators love them.

pollen dusted sunflower

allotment sunflowers

We also dug up the last of our potatoes. The last bed to be harvested completely took us aback. We have never grown such big potatoes. We did put lots of coffee grounds onto that particular area, so maybe that helped. Magoo, as ever, loved digging up the spuds and was flabbergasted by their size.

The allotment has kept us in spuds throughout July, August and September. In fact I only had the need to buy our first bag of shop-bought potatoes last week in early October.

giant allotment potatoes

allotment potatoe harvest

We also did really well with our courgette harvest. We had so many and if you turned your back for five minutes they morphed into marrows overnight. One particular large example doubled up as a Snozzcumber when Magoo went into school in fancy dress for Roald Dahl day

allotment courgette harvest in september

When they weren't doubling up as Snozzcumbers, I like to roast our allotment courgettes with peppers, onions and homegrown herbs. Once roasted I mix the veg with cous cous and drizzle with plain yogurt and sprinkle with fresh mint.

roasting allotment grown courgettes

roasting allotment grown courgette harvest

We're now clearing the plot and covering the soil ready for Winter. We still have some parsnips, sprouts, butternut squash and celeriac to harvest on the plot, so I'll be back in a couple of weeks for an October update...

Before I go, I thought I'd share one more photo. Magoo took one look at our huge allotment potatoes and decided to decorate them with pieces from her Mrs Potato Head you do :)

I'm always looking for new ideas for our allotment. I've put together an 'Allotment Inspiration' board over on Pinterest. I love connecting with other pinning fans, so it would be great to connect with you over there...

This week I'm linking up with these lovely blogs...

"How Does Your Garden Grow" over on

"HomeEtc" over on

Friday 7 October 2016

Crafting is my Therapy #9

Welcome to the ninth “Crafting is my Therapy” blog link-up.

I hope you’ve had a wonderful month or making and creating.

September saw our busiest month yet on the ‘Crafting is my Therapy” linky. Welcome to all our new crafters, including Elsie Pop, Relentlessly Purple, Crafty Linby and Knitting and So On who joined us for the first time in September.

This month I have been practising some new embroidery stitches. I’ve always wanted to try the Lazy Daisy stitch. It’s a classic stitch and a great one for creating texture on a piece. I have also attempted Ribbed Web Stitch. It’s quite an unusual one, a mixture of sewing and weaving. Head over to my post to see how I got on…

Last month we also held a Posca Pen giveaway. There were 15 posts (not including the hosts) added to our link-up in September. Using the random number generator, I can tell you that the winner is…Relentlessly Purple! A pack of Posca Pens will be heading her way shortly...

Have you created anything crafty this month? Sewing, knitting, crochet, painting or pottery…please join in and share your blog posts.

The focus of this linky is crafting for pleasure, basically taking some ‘me-time’ to unwind in our busy lives. It doesn’t have to be a finished project, we love seeing work in progress, planning posts or tutorials too.

Please grab the Crafting is my Therapy badge:

Me You and Magoo

I co-host Crafting is my Therapy with Jennifer Jain. She writes the popular craft blog Jennifers Little World

Jennifer hosts our Pinterest group board. Would you like your blog posts to be seen by over 700K followers? Craft Bloggers linking to #craftingismytherapy are welcome to join our board. It's a great way for your posts to reach a wider audience...

The “Crafting is my Therapy” linky will open on 7th October at 7pm (GMT) and stays open for the whole month – giving you plenty of time to get involved.
– You can link up with maximum of three posts per month, old or new.
– The focus of the linky is crafting for pleasure, so please don’t link up with posts promoting handmade items for sale.
– Grab the linky badge or link back to our blogs on your post.
– Please share the love and comment on other people’s posts.
– If you could share your post and the linky (using the hashtag #craftingismytherapy) on any social media channels that would be great. This will help us to grow the community. We will retweet all your posts via Twitter if you mention us (@pouchvintage/@JenniferJain )
– And finally, if you would like to follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, you’re more than welcome! Jennifer Jain’s links are here too: Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.


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