Friday, 31 July 2009

Anyone know what kind of butterfly this is? Found near Weymouth.

Monday, 20 July 2009

A Dorset cottage

Not many people live in cottages like this anymore, in fact there aren't many old cottages like this around anymore.

The grave of Field Marshall Sir John Michel GCB

This is the poshest grave I have seen in Dorset and its part of a group of posh graves in Dewlish churchyard. Sir John was mentioned in an earlier entry as the man who looted and burned the summer palace in Peking and carted the loot back to Dewlish House. We honour our dead heros in Britain.

I first visited the church on a Sunday and there was a service going on so I came back the next day and it was locked. So far its the only church in Dorset that I have found locked. Perhaps there's some Chinese loot inside.

Broad bean field

Well, I mean if you grow broad beans alongside a footpath you've got to expect a few to go missing. The pods are supposed to be good for Parkinson's disease. When you cut the pods and leave them for a bit they turn black, so does the water you boil them in.

spider egg?

I don't know what this is. It looks like some form of spider's egg?

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Plantain and dandelion leaf stir fry

Young dandelion and plantain leaves stir fried with onion, wafer thin garlic, green soya beans, green beans and peas.
Anyone know what type of butterfly and caterpillars these are?

Puddletown bypass

The Bere Regis bypass near Puddletown is a concrete road and very noisy, you can here this road for miles. This photo was taken on a Sunday and the road was very busy with traffic rushing to and from the quiet of west Dorset. Ironic that it passes very close to the village where Thomas Hardy set far from the madding crowd. I expect the people of Puddletown are glad that the road no longer goes through the village.

How people rush around though, even on a Sunday
An old Dorset mill house, just to the right you can see where the water would have flowed onto the wheel long since removed. I wonder what life was like for the miller who worked and possibly lived here when it was a mill?
These are the main gates to Dewlish House. They are made of Chinese steel that doesn't rust looted from the Peking summer palace and the only (known) loot that is left. No wonder the sign to the right of the gates says "beware guard Dogs".
This is a glimpse of Dewlish House. The British were very good a making parkland for big houses. I'm not sure about the history of Dewlish House, it might have been built for a Nabob (someone who made a fortune in India) or a returning slave owner from a Caribbean plantation. One owner of note was Field Marshal John Michel. He looted the summer palace in Peking, loaded all the loot on a ship, sent it all back to Dewlish and burned down the summer palace.

Friday, 3 July 2009

The tiny purple and yellow plantain flowers seem to work their way up from the bottom of the stalk.


I think, along with dandelion, plantain is classed as a nuisance weed yet they are both edible and have significant nutrient value. There are several sites that describe plantain and include references. is one. I have included it in two meals on two consecutive days with no ill effects.

Plantain is said to stop bleeding and heal tissues. It is good for the skin, reduces cholesterol, helps bronchitis, acts as a laxative and is an antibiotic. I have used it with sesame seed oil on my skin with noticeable positive effects. There are two main plantain species growing in Britain and they have similar qualities.