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Grockles

          As “Muggles” are non-magical people in the Harry Potter universe, so “Grockles” are non-local people in the South of England holiday region. 

          There is some feeling in this politally over correct world we live in that any word used by one group of people which describes another group of people is derogatory, or racist, but how can a word which sounds so happy, and rolls off the tongue with a smile be anything other than endearing?  I suppose the “Pure-bloods” in Harry Potter could make a case for looking down their noses at Muggles, but people like that don’t need a reason, just an excuse.  I like to think that the words Muggles and Grockles should be put in the same category as bubble… Happy words… Have you ever tried being annoyed or angry at the same time as you are repeating the word bubble over and over in your mind. . 

          We’ve been living in Weymouth for over three years now so I guess we almost qualify to be called locals, I can even waste a hot day by lazing around the house or garden without giving the seaside a seconds thought.  But when we have visitors it’s really good to search out some of the attractions of the area, to be Grockles again, and this is exactly what happened a short while ago when Little Sister came to stay.

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          One thing you can always guarantee when I get together with Little Sister is that there will be plenty of coffee and cake involved.   We started the weekend as we meant to go on.  I still have my cup of Costa coffee on a Saturday after my last shift of the week in work, and I still take a photo of it somewhere different each week and post it to Instagram and Facebook.  So as Little Sister set off early to drive here in time to meet me from work, I met her outside the shop with two matching Costa coffees.

          After a quick snack at home for lunch we set off at wander pace towards the harbour and beyond.  The “beyond” was actually a plan, which doesn’t happen very often when Little Sister is here (neither of us does the Adulting thing when we’re together) the plan took us to the doughnut stall at the Holiday fairground which had appeared at the Pavilion carpark for the week, and from there to the Shop, where we shared doughnuts and drank coffee with Bead Lady.

          Sunday was expected to be a bit of a washout so we had a lazy pj morning and then set off for a couple of garden centres to wander and natter under cover.  By the time we actually got going it was time for lunch so as cooking is something which doesn’t happen very often at my house either, the first stop was at Goulds Garden centre where we visited their cafe, The Shed for lunch.

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          We had a good pootle around, Socially distanced and wearing masks of course, then set off to a second garden centre, the plan was to again wander around looking at the “stuff” and then go for coffee and cake while we discussed the merits of online shopping with lower prices and delivery.  Unfortunately as we finally approached the cafe we were unceremoniously greeted by a sign saying closed so the coffee and cake didn’t happen in the second garden centre, we made use of the convenient inconveniences and set off with no plan back towards home.

          I’m no good at making plans at all, or come to think of it, of thinking on my feet in general.  We were both starting to flag a little so if we’d driven to the house with grand intentions of heading back outdoors it wouldn’t have happened.  The urge to nap would have been too strong to resist so a stopping place with ample parking space and a view was required…

          Billy Winter’s… If you haven’t been yet, then you simply must. The coffee… The cakes… And the view… Need I say more.

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          The next day, the forecasted unpredictable weather was kind so we decided to just mooch around town and along the prom.   Since we’d had another lazy pj morning, this is often our way when we get together, it was almost lunch time again before we went out.

          We didn’t head straight to the prom, we stayed on the south side of the harbour and headed upwards from Hope Square towards Nothe Gardens, heading back down to the harbour on the other side of the gardens and out to the stone pier for a wonderful view of the resident cruise ships of the moment, stopping at the “Stone Pier Cafe” to eat, and of course to drink more Socially distanced coffee. 

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          Suitably sustained, we then carried on towards town and the awaiting ice cream on the prom.

          Being very much a holiday destination, Weymouth is packed full of holiday calories, these can be found in almost any direction you turn, however, holiday calories are guilt free, and very often needed for the additional holiday activities which co-exist with them in pretty good harmony.  After the initial testing of these calories when we first moved here, I now only consume holiday calories when we have visitors, my bathroom scales, and the seams of my trousers, seem to approve of this a little more than the gradual upward trend of the width of my shadow when we first arrived .

          On our last full day, a Tuesday, we set off to Portland in a light drizzle to enjoy the market.  Unfortunately the virus had other plans, Portland Market is cancelled for the whole summer and the cafe at the top was only doing takeaway ice cream so we sheltered for a short time while the drizzle clouds were blown away and then made our way down into Tout Quarry, where the morning was forgiven and forgotten as we played like a couple of little kids amongst the rocks looking for treasure.

          “Tout Quarry” is a whole other story, one I’ll tell in detail as soon as I’ve had a good look at the photos I took.  It’s bursting with amazing things to find around every corner.  I can’t believe I’ve only just found it.

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          We didn’t manage the whole of the Quarry, we were there for a good few hours, but with no market or cafe, we were finally beaten by the need for more liquid refreshment… And inconveniences.

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          We made our way to Portland Bill for coffee with a view.

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          We drove back home and walked back to town to see if we could find somewhere to eat out with Hubby, but everywhere was fully booked up so I queued at our favourite harbour chipshop while Little Sister secured a front row seat with a harbour view.

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          And what better way to close the evening than watching from the sun go down behind the marina.

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          Although, Hubby would have it that his way was better when we joined him for a drink at one of his favourite watering holes… Finns… Note… They don’t serve coffee.

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          So there you have it… A few very enjoyable days playing Grockles with Little Sister.   Our last morning’s plan of a visit to Dorchester Market on Wednesday was rained off, so although I didn’t have any cake, we managed to find some biscuits to go with our coffees before she set off for the drive home.

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         … And as is becoming my traditional occupation while visitors drive home… I took a nap.

          More from before: a variety of “visitors and visitees”  .

Abergavenny market hall

          Not quite at the moving stage of packing up, I’m busy backing up to make sure I don’t lose anything electronically on route to our new location. According to my list of Who, What, Where and When, I only have two posts from a day I spent meeting up via train with Little Sister in Abergavenny so lets see if I can’t find a few more memories to share from the files.

4. Abergavenny market hall.

          The two posts I have done about our day out served to remind me of the heavy rain showers of the day… and the subsequent reward of rainbows.  During one of such a shower, we ducked into the market hall for shelter and were treated to a wonderful display of vegetables … hanging from the ceiling.

5. Vegetables.

6. Gardening tools.

7. Pumpkins.

8. Vegegable basket.

           More from before : a day out in “Abergavenny” in November 2013.

Chocolate teapots

          I believe the phrase I’m thinking about flows somewhere along the lines of being about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

          I guess a real chocolate teapot wouldn’t really be much use at all, well not for making tea anyway,  but the mind wanders… As it often does…  What about a chocolate coffee pot, not too large, placed in a shallow dish with a large scoop of vanilla ice-cream… Then filled with a hot coffee custard just before serving.

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          Ok, let’s wander back the picture which prompted this post, I’m staying at Little Sister’s for the weekend and she has a couple of teapots on her shelf  from China which make me smile.

          Of course, they’re not really chocolate,  they’re made of clay and are apparently the perfect way to drink green tea.

          I’ll confess in not a green tea drinker, but if you are inclined to sip a little green tea, then I have it on very good authority that green tea made in a traditional clay pot will take the experience to a whole new level.