Weekly Photo Challenge: Local

“Home” is more than where we sleep at night. It is a place that is familiar and comforting, and it gives us a sense of belonging. Home is what and who is local — the places and people we know by heart.

Jen’s challenge this week is local. Those of you that have followed Lucid Gypsy for a while know that I have a deep attachment to my local area, the city and surrounding county. It isn’t grand, posh or showy, just very beautiful, and it isn’t difficult to show it off.

I hope you like what you see, are you sharing what local means to you?

A Medieval Fayre and a Good Yarn

As many of you know, I’m a crafter and get to attend all sorts of fairs and events around Devon, One of my favourites takes place on the Saturday closest to Michaelmas, every September.

It’s Colyford Goose Fayre of course, and several thousand people visit, many dressed in Medieval costume. There’s an opening parade through the village, where everyone follows the mayor into Springfields.


Morris Dance is a must.

morrisStalls of all kinds with treats to buy.

I really wanted a besom, and not to sweep up with.

There are things to entertain the whole family, quintain, greasy pole, apple pressing, thatching displays and archery.

All kinds of foods are on offer, I can’t imagine how they got the pizza oven in place. As always the ram roast was a great success, but not for me. I planned to have some pancakes but left it too late and they were sold out, so I sulked and tried a chocolate brownie which was way too sugary and not chocolatey enough for my discerning palate, hey ho, such is life.

The stars of the fayre for me by far were these two guys.

storytellersThey have mischief written all over their faces!

This guy and his bouzouki accompany the storyteller.

And this is Dave, from Rattlebox. I only got to listen to one of his stories, the Boggart, but it was wonderfully told and I was hooked from the beginning. Hooray for Colyford Goose Fayre, it was a lovely day out!



Dorset Buttoned Up

Whenever I go to Bridport Art’s Centre for a craft fair, I meet a lovely lady called Marcia, she makes buttons, Dorset buttons. Here she is concentrating on the tiny stitches.

db1Marcia has been making Dorset buttons for about 8 years, but the craft, known as ‘Buttony’ began in 1669, in a small Shaftesbury workshop, belonging to Abraham Case. The buttons with names like High Tops, and Dorset Knob became the most popular ones in England in the 17th and 18th centuries, spreading to Europe and even to the colonies. I’d be interested to know if anyone in Australia, Canada or the United States have ever come across them, Ruth perhaps?

As demand for buttons increased, so the cottage industry grew, with many farm working families finding that they could earn more money, without the drudge of hard labour on the land.

In 1851, at the Great Exhibition, the Button making machine was introduced. This struck a fatal blow to the workers, some chose to emigrate to the colonies, those that remained suffered dreadful hardship.

The skills of Buttony have not been lost, they are still being skilfully and artfully made by people like Marcia. She makes the Blandford Cartwheel design among others, and has brought their beauty into the 21st century, making them into lovely bracelets, earrings, brooches and cuff-links. She’s also created an ammonite shape alongside the usual round. Here is some of her work.

And what could be nicer than a bold cartwheel brooch adorning a beret?


Marcia says, ‘As a farmer’s daughter myself, the realisation of what these peoples must have suffered, is my inspiration to be part of a growing interest in bringing this beautiful craft to the attention of the modern world.’

Thank you Marcia for your enthusiasm about Buttony and your lovely company!



I popped along to see Queenie’s House


A few weeks ago, I had half an hour to kill in London, so I walked from Victoria, up Buckingham Palace Road, wondering if Her Majesty had time for a cup of tea. Strangely, she had more pressing matters to attend to, so I just looked at her garden fence, click these for a bigger view,

her garden lighting,

and the statue across the road.

Oh well, I suppose I would have only had about ten minutes free to chat, but maybe next time.

Buckfast Abbey


I regularly drive past the sign for Buckfast Abbey, a place I hadn’t visited since I was a child fifty years ago. A return visit was long overdue.

abb1Benedictine monks first arrived there in the early 11th century, but the monastery was destroyed in 1539, during Henry V111th’s dissolution. In 1882 a group of French Benedictine monks settled there and a slow rebuild began.

This is what happened next.

abb10What an achievement.

abb2Impressive doors.

Once inside, initially I was distinctly underwhelmed, until I stopped comparing it to the Cathedral in Exeter. abb9The vaulting is different but interesting.

A beautiful screen.

And some pretty chapels.

Buckfast is a peaceful place, the part that filled me with joy was an amazing stained glass area, where photography was not allowed. I’d go back just to see that again. I did manage to buy a postcard of part of it, glass

But you will get a better idea here.

Now, once I went outside to the gardens, I really started to enjoy Buckfast. There’s a lavender garden, but it was past it’s best, as well as a sensory and a physic garden.

So this is Buckfast, a tranquil place to spend and hour or two. They have a restaurant and gift shop, as well as a conference centre. Visiting, and parking is free, so if you’re driving along the Devon Expressway why not call in?

I’m tempted to link to Jo’s Monday walk, because I didn’t sit down for a couple of hours even if i didn’t walk very far, and I don’t think she’ll tell me off!


The Beginning and End of a Garden Day

Last Sunday my friend picked me up to take me for a birthday trip. It was a very grey day, and the direction we took meant that the forecast rain was inevitable. It was quite odd to be in the passenger seat, Sue isn’t an enthusiastic driver so I’m usually behind the wheel even in her car. This is the road across Dartmoor.

Dartmoor roadIt doesn’t look promising does it?

Our actual destination doesn’t have any café facilities, and it was already 11.45 so we stopped off at Buckland, for coffee and halfsies on a piece of Bakewell tart.

beamsThe restaurant at Buckland has the most interesting old beams.

bucklandNational trust plant centres are always tempting but I knew there would be more interesting choices later on.

Now just play nicely together for a little while, because I’m not taking you where I went just yet, there are too many photos and I have to try to choose some okay ones from the endless blurred rainy day ones.

Three hours have passed and we’re back at Buckland, too late for a hot lunch or sandwich, but starving, thank goodness for a cheese and onion pasty! Then it’s outside for a stroll. It’s still grey but here are some cheerful stars.

dah1and a pretty garden wall and fence.

over the fence

with a very formal Elizabethan garden.

gardenThe last time I visited Buckland Abbey it was April and there wasn’t much to see in the garden at all. This time I mainly saw purple, pink and magenta.

Even around the corner in the border to the side of the Abbey.


Thank you Buckland for providing the contrast in the middle of my day!

Curves inside and out

Cheri at the Daily Post has chosen the theme of curves for this weeks photo challenge. I have a friend who likes straight lines in imagery, but I’ll always choose the curves and swirls we find in nature, in any design or art.

I took this first photo a few weeks ago at Coldharbour Mill, in east Devon. It was leaning against a wall at the back of a courtyard and I had to capture it.

curvesa1Next, there’s a humpy hedge behind these curvy evergreens. Apparently when it was a baby hedge, there was a very harsh winter and it was weighed down by snow. The gardeners tried to repair it, but failed and knowing they’d lost the battle, they decided to allow it to grow it’s own curvy way.


A few weeks ago I posted a black and white version of some William Morris wallpaper,


There were several comments about the original colours, so here it is, colours, curves and even a well placed ceramic plate.