It’s been a quiet few weeks here at the blog, but don’t worry, nothing is wrong! If you were keeping up with me on social media you’ll already know I was on my holidays 🙂 I had planned to have a working holiday, especially as we had wifi at the cottage and then I ended up just having a completely restful and relaxing break away. It was much needed and to be honest, the only one pushing me to work was me. I wasn’t falling behind, I had no reviews that needed to be desperately finished and I thought it was best for myself to just let it go. So I did!
It means that the Cancer Zodiac post is going to be reaaallly late, but everything else is just taking a small break for a month! I wanted to show you guys exactly what I got up to while I was away, however, I didn’t want to do something too time consuming so I could get back to work before I fell even further behind. So for the first time ever I’m trying a photo blog! So here goes nothing 🙂 ((Camera image used in the banner is from DropsofHearts. All photos were taken and edited by myself.))
My parents had booked the cottage and handed us the details before we set out, so we knew the name of the place was ‘Mill Farm Cottage’. We didn’t quite expect it to be literally on a farm! This is the cottage; to the left is the farm itself and this photo was taken from the end of the garden. The garden was more like a field than a garden! It was huge!
Here’s the cottage from another angle and you can see just how big the garden is, as well as a view of the barn of the farm next door. The lady that owns the farm and the cottage was absolutely lovely, and had an abundance of chickens and a few turkeys so we had fresh eggs and an offer of various other products available too. Sadly she had recently lost her husband so the farm is much smaller than it used to be; she has had to let the horses go as she couldn’t keep up with them on her own, for example. The chickens were everywhere, and it was quite fascinating watching the two cockerels interacting. Despite the amount of them they weren’t that noisy, and even though they do announce the dawn it’s a sound you get used to. It was those blasted turkeys that I wanted to murder by the end of the week! They make a weird noise that is a cross between a squeak and a goose’s honk, and it is so so annoying.
There was a big house (and by big house I mean a manor house) that could be rented out for stag/hen weekends and such nearby, but otherwise our only neighbours were the animals and birds. Our closest neighbours were two donkeys in the field next to our garden and these two boys became firm friends as soon as the carrots came out! The first time we all went out for the day they heard us return and came out to greet us, which was super sweet 🙂
The elder of the two was more timid and much calmer. He didn’t like to be touched, but was friendly enough and liked to keep us company. He was a lovely calming presence one day when I got a horrible phone call and it upset me. He came over and kept me company, making sure I was ok. Both he and the younger one are from Champion lines, and are stabled at the farm but did not belong to it. Therefore we didn’t get any names and simply referred to them as the older and younger boys the whole time!
The young one was a little ruffian and we got a bit of background about him; as he was from a Champion line his owner tried to breed him but was unable to find a suitable arrangement. He also got to the age where he started to realise he was a boy and started to get very rowdy 😀 so She chose to have him gelded and he moved in with his current companion at the arm. He appears to be quite a bit younger and is a cheeky little fellow, always pushing his companion out of the way when it was time for carrots. The last day he tried to trip the other donkey over by hooking his legs around his back legs. The elder donkey seemed to have had enough by that point! He turned around and went to kick him with the full force of his hind legs! Thankfully he didn’t as he was facing the fence and thus me too! I don’t blame him; the cheeky monkey deserved it.
We were surrounded by fields and nature. There was a guide and a map inside the cottage to a mile long walk which took you through the fields and by a river, boasting of nature, wildlife and views. Unfortunately it was one of several things we didn’t get a chance to do.
Our first day we decided to head into the closest big town; Dorchester. Unfortunatly as it was a Sunday a lot of things were closed but we were mainly going for the indoor market and car boot fair. We picked up some cheap DVDs, and there was also a stall sanding some random Celtic history books. They were interesting, but nothing caught my eye until I saw this cover. It had nothing on the front or the spine to indicate what it might be. So I opened it up…..
Jackpot! As an Art History grad, and all around Renaissance art lover this was an amazing find and for £3 I couldn’t pass it up. I later found out that it’s actually from the 1950s or something silly; this book should been in a library somewhere, not sitting at a car boot sale!
There are so many amazing drawings in it including his studies of cloth, people, anatomy and his inventions. There’s also a couple of chapters at the start full of information. I can’t wait to dig into it!
After our wanderings it was time for some much needed rest, hydration and nom noms, and boy, did we get all of them at the Hendover Cafe in Dorchester! The owner was an absolutely lovely lady who treated everyone as her own family, and was really attentive. My mum has to be super careful of what she eats so eating out always makes her nervous so it was a relief to have someone who listened and took note of what she needed.
I knew I was ordering an iced coffee; I needed to cool down and I needed caffeine, but I was surprised to see an iced mocha on the menu! That is something you don’t usually see. Chris got a refreshing strawberry and banana smoothie.
While me and mum went for sandwiches, the boys were enticed by the roasts on the menu and they were really happy when they arrived. They were huge! Chris got the roast beef pictured here and dad got roast pork with crackling. Then the veg arrived….
Oh yes! The massive meals came with a just as big portion of vegetables as a side. They were just as delicious as the main meal and they both devoured the lot! Highly recommend the Hendover Cafe in Dorchester if you’re ever over that way.
Exploring the Local Area
The next day Chris and I went off to explore the local area. Our first stop was somewhere for lunch, and we looked about on the interest first because being in the middle of no where meant we couldn’t just hop in the car and drive about, we’d be driving about the fields for an hour finding somewhere that was open. The night before we’d tried to find somewhere to eat out only to find that apparently down in that part of Dorset no one serves food after 5pm on a Sunday. It didn’t help that most of the local pubs recommended in the cottage guestbook had recently closed. So we weren’t taking any chances, and we came across this cute looking cafe called Time after Thyme.
So we popped in and I’m really glad we did! The food was AMAZING. Yes, capitals are needed for this one! Chris got this monster of a scone. It was blueberry and almond which was unique, and it tasted amazing. I’m not a fan of fruit, otherwise I’d have quite happily waffled one down too!
I went for one of our usual favourites; carrot cake and I wasn’t disappointed. It was the type that just melted in your mouth. It was so good that Chris went back and got a bit to take home! The cafe itself was decorated with all sorts of bits and pieces, most of which you could buy. They had loads of art, stationery and of course, food! All of it home made and locally sourced. What was also super interesting was the place where the cafe was located. It was a farm where other businesses were also located, so it was almost like a mini-shopping area. Sadly the other shops we wanted to check out were closed, but I did use their facilities and I have to say, it was the cutest darn toilet I have ever been in. Yes, I’m telling you about a ladies toilet. But seriously, someone had put a lot of time and effort into decorating this little bathroom and it was wonderful to see.
Later that evening we went for dinner in Sherborne, a near by town and afterwards we took the long root back to the car.
In doing so we took in the beautiful Sherborne Abbey and I got to take some photos from various angles before the weight of good food became too much and we headed home.
One of the last days of our holiday we headed off to Monkey World! Monkey World is not a zoo, it’s an ape rescue center and I’ve been once before. It’s a great day out, as well as a fantastic education trip too.
I was thrilled to be able to see the Orang-utans, a species that I have always been interested in but have never be able to see before. They are such beautiful creatures, with such soulful presences and what has happened to them and is still happening to them is absolutely heartbreaking. This beautiful male orang-utan gifted us with the chance to take some fabulous photos and a chance to see him up close by coming and sitting directly in front of us for a good 10-15 minutes. It was a moment I will treasure.
The ring-tailed lemur forest at Monkey World is my favourite part of the centre and is my favourite experience of any rescue center, animal center, or zoo I have ever visited. It is a massive section of forest which the lemurs can run around in and there is no walls between you and them. You are not allowed to touch them, obviously, as they are still wild animals, and there is a keeper present at all times to protect them and watch visitors. The whole forest is enclosed with netting high above and around, so they are enclosed for their own safety but I doubt they are even aware of it. It is especially magical a few months earlier in the year when the babies are around! Last time we went there were babies 😀 I don’t think I will ever get tired of visiting Monkey World and the lemur forest, it is a unique experience that everyone should see at least once in their lifetimes.
Quick Blog Update
So that is the end of my photo blog! It actually took even longer than a normal entry because I ended up getting technical and editing some of the photos. I also found that bouncing from one holiday and onto another (I’m off tomorrow for a long weekend trip to visit family) is a little too much for me. So sadly I’ve not been able to catch up with any other blog work. I will be back next week and everything will be returning to normal; including the extremely delayed Zodiac series for Cancer! I also have a review coming up as well for a set of aromatherapy products that I’ve been tested over the last month.
Over to You
How did I do? Did you like the photo blog or do you prefer me rambling on in text?
Have you been to Monkey World?
What is your favourite experience at an animal rescue centre/park?
If you have any questions about anything let me know in the comments 🙂