Monday, 25 June 2012

Dorset & Normandy - Day 4

Given the activities of the last few days, we decided to take Sunday a little easier. So after a local Meeting for Worship, we headed over the Swanage Railway to take the steam train up to Corfe Castle. As much as intact castles are fun to wander around, I think that ruined castles are even more fun if for no other reason than you get to explore and scramble over the old stones, letting your imagination run wild (or at least my imagination does so). Set up on the top of a hill, it commands really spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. We spent a very enjoyable few hours wandering around and enjoying the sunshine and slightly less intense wind. There was even a little food festival at the bottom of the hill where the moat would have been featuring some local producers. After, we had a little cream tea in the National Trust cafe (I think National Trust cafe's frequently have the best teas) and then back to Swanage on the steam train.

During our pub lunch (yes another one!), we had spotted a poster for a little benefit concert for the Kimmeridge Project featuring a band called the "iFoxes" promising a little bit of jazz, a little bit of celtic tunes, and some surprises along the way. Having nothing else scheduled, we decided that sounded like a perfectly enjoyable evening (and if not at least the money would go to a good cause). We easily made our way over to Kimmeridge, detouring to take in views of the beautiful bay, before heading up to Smedmore House where marquees were set up for the concert. They had a little stand of homemade snacks and cakes for purchase as well as a couple of kegs of the local beer for purchase. The concert itself turned out the be an incredible amount of fun. They started off with a few jazz standards before segwaying into Celtic music - Irish, Scottish and Shetland. I'd never heard folk music from Shetland before and was really intrigued by the unusual lilt and slightly dissonant chord structure. Definitely one to explore more of when we get back home. The second set started off with some Spanish guitar music arranged for trio (violin, double bass & guitar with the odd pipes) an then back into a Celtic groove (adding the piper back in), including a wonderfully fun encore mixing both jazz and traditional Celtic rhythms. As the band is newly formed, they didn't have any of their group cds for sale, but we will definitely keep a look out for them in future!

Then another lovely drive back along the Purbeck ridge to Swanage, with a short stop to admire the lights in distant Poole coming on in the twilight.

And again we all go to bed thoroughly satisfied with our day! It's hard to believe that 24 hours from writing this we'll be on the ferry to Normandy for part 2 of our trip. We've had such an incredible time so far I have a hard time believing that the rest will live up to what we've done so far, but what would life be without something of a challenge, no?


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