Friday, 2 October 2015

We end our UK tour in Weymouth

I'm having a great start to October, even though I am still catching up
Sculpture by Weymouth Park and Ride 
posts from our September adventures! First it's so encouraging to now have over 300 followers on Bloglovin. If you aren't aware of Bloglovin, the site is an easy way to keep up with all your favourite blogs without having to wade through emails from each every time there's a new post. I get a daily digest email which is perfect for me. If you like to try following Stephanie Jane via Bloglovin, just click here and follow t'instructions!

Then, yesterday evening, fellow blogger Inna tweeted me to let me know she's chosen Stephanie Jane as one of her Favorite Five blogs. Thanks Inna! The other four are really interesting reads too so do click through and take a look.

Now back to September and for the last Day Out of our UK summer tour:
Sandcastle sculpture on Weymouth prom 
we went to Weymouth! I was impressed by the extensive offroad cycle routes on the outskirts of town and the efficient Park And Ride which is only £3 parking per car for a whole day and the bus rides are free. Googling the link now though, I find that it has closed down for the winter and won't be operational again until April next year.

I loved the whimsical street sculptures near the Park and Ride car park including the chariot pictured at the start of this post, and a huge golden picture frame that looked to be part of the same series. Susan Hogben's blog post told me that they are by artist Andy Kirby and there is a third in the area too. If we're ever back that way, I must search it out! I will also mention the Jurassic Stones which we saw as we drove in. This work consists of large pieces of rock held up above a pond on long steel poles. Apparently there has been plenty of discussion about the stones locally - this Dorset Echo article has more information - but we really liked the installation. Then, as soon as we left the bus on Weymouth prom, we saw yet more sculpture in the form of the traditional sand creations for which Weymouth is famed. We learned that their sand is particularly fine grained which makes it perfect for sandcastle building and the one shown here was a superb example.

We did our usual town visit practice of walking every street we could find.
Unexpected architecture in Weymouth 
There is a great mix of shops, independents as well as standard high street names, and we liked that they are mixed up together. This seemed to make the whole area feel vibrant although there were some off-puttingly vicious sandy winds on certain street corners. I guess locals get to know which junctions to avoid! Several buildings caught our eye for their elegant architecture and we were both fascinated by this Moorish style facade. It reminded us of Cordoba. Most of the prom had been reminiscent of Hastings. The 'Cordoba building' was boarded up and partly scaffolded. I hope it will be sympathetically restored.

Stanley's Coffee House was our choice of lunch spot. I had the spicy bean burgers and Dave went for a Brie and Bacon sandwich. Stanley's is a lovely little cafe with quick and friendly service, and the window table we had was perfect for whiling away time people-watching. It would seem that Weymouth is a town for everybody!

We were serenaded back through town by an enthusiastic school group
A Ford, but not ours 
who were all in 1940s style dress complete with small cardboard boxes marked Gas Mask. Apparently 'It's A Long Way To Bournemouth'! I don't know if this Ford car is of the same era. It was parked up at Lidl so we both gawped and Dave posed. It seems as though everyone we talk shops with recently has been a Lidl fan so we thought we would give the chain a try. I do like that they pay their employees at least the Living Wage, rather than just Minimum Wage, but I don't think we will turn into Lidl advocates too. The bill was certainly cheap, but there were certain staples that we couldn't find and far too many temptations that we don't need but struggled to resist!

And I nearly forgot to mention - I have bought a loom! I haven't been particularly crafty this summer and have missed making stuff. While reading The Bitter Trade recently, I was interested by the novel's descriptions of weaving so, when I saw a Learn To Weave kit in The Works in Weymouth, I thought I would give it a try. Even better, in the time it took to get to the till, the £9.99 price had reduced to £7.99!

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