Sunday, July 11, 2010

BORING YOU WITH MORE VACATION PHOTOS

Here we go.  Please feel free to skip if you can’t take it.  More boring vacay photos with boring explanations!

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On the side of this hill is an ancient English secret.  From a time before written history.  And no one knows who did this and/or what it was for.  Much like Stonehenge (in theory).   What is it?  Let’s look closer.

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It is the Giant of Cerne Abbas.  Carved into the chalk of the hillside, it is a giant naked warrior with his club (both of them) held high.  Speculation is that some ancient people carved it for fertility purposes.  You can walk up the hill right to the carving (and which is surprising that we have never done so given the Billy Goat nature of this family that I married into).  One year when we visited, right next to the Giant was a giant Homer Simpson holding a donut.

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(Not my photo, but I do have a pic of it somewhere.  Luckily, Homer is wearing some undies.  He has long since faded into the hillside, however, while the Giant lives on.   Actually, this pic above shows the walking trails around him.)  I think the local folks now make sure that the grass doesn’t grow over the chalk outline.  Once in a while, you hear stories of teenagers who climb the hill to put a condom on him … things like that.

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Next trip on that day of site-seeing was a place called Corfe Castle.  If you remember the video for Big Country’s '>In a Big Country” then you might recognize some of the scenery around this place as it was filmed in this area. 

Anyway, Corfe Castle is one of those areas of England that an American wants England to be.  Super-quaint village.  Castle ruins.  Green and pleasant scenery.

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Now, you may have seen my post before about “Mary, Queen of Shops.”  I am/was a big fan of that show!  So, as an extra added unexpected bonus on the day of our trip to Corfe Castle, we visited this place:

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Cleall’s of Corfe.  A village shop.  Right across the road from The Greyhound pub in one of the photos above.  But (woot!) also the subject of a “Mary, Queen of Shops” program, which …. wait for it …. was airing on TV on the very evening of our visit!  Meet Juliet, the proprietor:

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She says that taking on this shop in this little village was much like living in an episode of “The Vicar of Dibley” – except on steroids.  We visited a while, took some photos and then headed out to a place called Swanage.

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Swanage is a fairly typical English sea-side village.  Maybe a little easier-going than most since it is very out-of-the-way.

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It has a pier built in Victorian times and to help with restoration, the locals buy plaques for the boards along the pier.  I found this plaque below, which made me a little homesick for the kitties on the day.  Well, not really, we were having a great time.

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But I loved the sentiment of this plaque dedicated to “Nod & Deb” … so romantic!

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Below is a pic of the coast and headland.  I believe the formation at the top of the bay is called “Old Harry Rocks”.  A brilliant day trip, peaceful sea, and a wonderful lunch of fish and chips.

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Then after a bit of the family history explorations (more on that in the future),  it was time to head back to mum’s, where we watched the Mary Queen of Shops episode on TV!

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And back in Oklahoma that day, it was raining … lots … and flooding.