A day late, a day early…

13 December 2014
Ben Pentreath

The blog is getting very erratic these days isn’t it? A day late, a day early. How does anyone know where they stand? But  we’re down in Dorset, waiting for my brother and family to arrive, and it’s a quiet evening with the fire flickering, and we’ve had a beautiful day down here, and it’s a busy day tomorrow…and it feels like a good moment to sit down and share a few photographs. This afternoon Charlie and I went for an amazing walk on Eggardon Hill.

Can I confess something, that local West Dorset readers will find a bit shocking? I’ve driven past Eggardon a thousand times, and written about it more than once, including the very very early days of this blog (May 2009, anyone?)  but I’ve got to be honest… I’ve never actually stopped. I think I’ve always been too busy, as they say. In a bit of a rush to get down to Powerstock to see Jane and Johnny Holland, or, well, I don’t know to where or what.  So with nothing to do this afternoon, and a perfect, clear-blue-skied day, with the brilliant December sunshine casting long, low shadows across the countryside, we meandered over to Eggardon.

The views from the ancient hill fort are remarkable. You’re not quite on top of the world, but you are on top of West Dorset.



We were virtually alone, save one or two other walkers, taking in the view.P1050174 P1050175

There is something almost poetic in the gentle folds of the ancient hills, run with sheep tracks.P1050176 P1050181 P1050187 P1050189 P1050192 P1050199 P1050200 P1050204

Towards the end of our walk we came across a lone falconer:P1050213 P1050215

P1050214The grass was laced with a fine covering of spiders webs, and the sea turned a silver-gold colour.


We decided to drive over to see my friends Gracie and Adrian, stopping on the way to admire my dream Dorset house, Wynford Eagle Manor.P1050228

Gracie and Adrian live in Toller Fratrum, where they run their fantastic small press, Little Toller Books, which I have written about before and goes from strength to strength. Check out the brilliant website for their books.  And Adrian runs wonderful Common Ground from the office next door, announced by this beautiful stone at the step. I have always loved Common Ground and it’s fantastic to see it in such safe and interesting hands.P1050231

I always love a surprise visit so much more than long-made plans. We had a lovely afternoon with Gracie and Adrian and an early gin-and-tonic or two, and came home by darkness across the tiny lanes from theirs to ours. And now it’s supper time, and for once I’m off to cook. Tomorrow is my Mum’s 80s birthday party celebration, which is strangely rather exciting. And so the year rolls softly to its end, but nothing prepares me for days of such startling beauty as this.

17 comments on this post

Nice environment with beautiful natural beauties. The scenery of these pictures attracts one’s mind easily.

Patrice Burdasays:

Hello Ben!
I just want to let you know how much I enjoy and look forward to reading your blog and looking at your beautiful pictures! I agree with everyone else that what you post is a real treat! You are so generous to share your life with all of us and allow us to be a part of wonderful places, people, architecture, history, and events! Thank you SO MUCH & a Merry Christmas to you!


I’d have been entirely with Deborah’s comment, had we not just gone through the siege here in Sydney, a couple of minutes from where I live. I have never felt more ‘here’ here. All of which is set to change in January, probs, when I come back over.

What I love about this post is Common Ground and Little Toller books. What lovely things to do with a life. From here they seem so embedded in those green hills, and so … something…so purposeful and gentle.


Dear PP thinking of everyone there. All best, Ben


I’ve come over all Thomas Hardy! Thanks Ben.


Sheep tracks and a falconer.


Thanks for reminding me—I think.

Kisses, Ben.

Ellen Spencersays:

One of my favorite things about Southern England: brilliant green fields throughout the winter!


Ooooohh, that beautiful view from Eggardon Hill. My heart never fails to miss a beat and then leap for joy, as I come up from darling Wynford Eagle and up over the high fields to its crest. And there is the sparkling sea, and Bridport, and those old jurassic cliffs. Best view in the world on a sunny day. And I just adore those ripples in the green hills.. Strip lynchets, I believe. Toller books pretty darn fantastic too..

What a beautiful walk through the countryside. Your blog post always brighten my Monday! Happy Birthday to your Mum!
xo, lissy


Happy Birthday wishes for your mum!


Turn right off the A 35 road onto the Roman Road with a frothy sea of cow parsley on both sides, a hot sun burning down, the sky larks singing, past the summit of Eggardon hill, across into Kings lane with lots more dancing cow parsley towards Powerstock but stop in the little lay-by on the left, hop over the field gate on the right hand side of the lane, turn left in the field and there ………….. is West Dorset spread out before you. I feel like a queen of the kingdom, ………. Wessex at its best.
Congratulations and many happy returns to your mother.

Such stunning countryside views! You always seem to capture the moment perfectly through your photography Ben.


Thank you, Ben, for sharing your day in such a beautiful way.


What a welcome surprise to wake this morning in Sharon, Connecticut to read your blog!
Mondays will never be the same.
Like your Dorset; Sharon and all of Litchfield county; are very special land that are loved and respected for many years. I am so thankful for your ability to stop and appreciate the simple and beautiful.
And as for mothers and their birthdays; if defines love.
warmest holiday well wishes
calhoun sumrall


Thank you for this beautiful moment, Ben..and, I wish your Mother a wonderful, happy birthday !

so very beautiful. a dream walk! thanks for sharing it with us and happy birthday to your mum.

Thank you for sharing those photographs, Ben, Dorset has the most beautiful landscape, spiritual as though freighted with meaning. A place of mystery.

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