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Dec 20

First Day of Holiday Break

The first College term has ended – wow, those twelve weeks just flew by!  Now we have a two week break for the holidays.  This is the first chance that Deb and I have had a real chance to get out a bit further than a few miles from Chichester.  So, we have planned a short trip to the southwest and will return to Chichester on Christmas day before heading to Scotland for New Years.

Our first stop has been a small seaside town of Swanage.  The 1000 year old Corfe Castle is just six miles away.

High Street in Swanage - like many other English towns.

High Street in Swanage – like many other English towns.

The castle is well known – even if you don’t remember the name, there is a good chance that you have seen pictures of it.

The castle was demolished by the Parlimentarians in 1645.  You can see in this picture that the left part of the gate is significantly lower than the right part.

The castle was demolished by the Parlimentarians in 1645. You can see in this picture that the left part of the main gate is significantly lower than the right part.

This was news to me!

This was news to me!

It has a very interesting history and it was fun to imagine it when it was a functioning place.  It is very easy to romanticize however, I am sure that life back then was pretty awful by our standards.  The National Trust has done a nice job adding some Christmas themed signs around that were interesting as well as the normal museum-like informational signs.

Fantastic views from the castle top and fantastic weather!

Fantastic views from the castle top and fantastic weather!

We had glorious sun most of the day but a few clouds gave us this amazing view.

We had glorious sun most of the day but a few clouds gave us this amazing view.

We got to the castle on board a local train (the Swanage Railway) for the short trip.  The story about the railway is quite a tribute to thousands of hours of volunteer time and it was a very fun way to get there.  Follow the links if you want to learn more about the Castle or the railway.

A lot of volunteers worked to reestablish this steam railway between Swanage and the Castle.

A lot of volunteers worked to reestablish this steam railway between Swanage and the Castle.

Returning to Swanage, we had a nice leisurely stroll along the iconic south coast with some of the beautiful white cliffs visible (they’re not just in Dover).  Albeit a little cold, the sun was out for a good part of the day – and who can complain about that in the middle of December.

These cliffs really are amazing!

These cliffs really are amazing!

We are missing the kids – it will be a different Christmas for us but still a blessed time that we will always cherish and, this Christmas season as we experience new adventures, we will say our prayers of thankfulness for all the gifts that we have been given throughout our lives – this certainly counts as a big one.

we’re glad that you can share this adventure with us,

 

6 comments

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  1. Sue Pringle

    Hi Mostyn. Great pictures and description of your little exploring venture. Think of you often. I’m sure this will be a memorable Christmas for you even tho’ separated from the grand-kids and their parents. Have a great trip to Scotland for New Year’s. I’ll look forward to seeing the pictures of that trip too. Much love to you both, Sue

  2. Dorothy

    Uncle Moo, Thank you so much for sharing your adventure with us! We wish you both a Merry Christmas and an extra special New Year! With love, Dorothy

  3. Jeff MaGee

    Mostyn I am loving your blog. I am swamped with work and Grad School. But I open your blog while on public transportation and spend a few minutes with you vicariously. Rejoice with those who rejoice. I am 100% pleased for you and Debbie. Joy is visiting us right now. I was telling her what you are doing. She and Dan were in England last summer and she thinks what you are doing is fantastic. Inspired by you, I’ve been thinking that when I retire I might like to become a book binder. First, I’d better finish this MBA program.

    1. Mostyn Gale

      Jeff, I am so glad that you get to visit with Joy – I am sure it is a happy time. West Dean has a wonderful and very active book conservation program in which I am sure you would learn book binding among another things – so perhaps you want to think about that. Check out the Book Binding blog written by one of the students this year. http://westdeanconservation.com/2014/10/26/intro-to-binding-japanese-stab-binding-tutorial-flexible-cover-with-three-hole-stitching/
      – say hi to the whole family for us.

  4. Rosalyn Sample

    Merry Christmas! Sounds like a wonderful memory making tour!

  5. Sue Gary

    Loved it! Your blogs are always terrific.

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