Happiness Is...

...a small, sparkly fridge magnet called Claude.

Yesterday saw me taking a little time out for a trip down to the seaside at Weymouth with my SUP friends to celebrate D's retirement. We went on the train, so there was plenty of time to gossip on the way down and have a quick snooze on the way back after a thoroughly good day out.

I have a number of fridge magnets to commemorate holidays and nice events. My rules are to find something tastefully tacky for less than a £1. Claude came in well under that at all of 50p. Since we moved here in 1999, I haven't been able to display my collection on the fridge as it's covered in a wooden door, so I've resorted to displaying them on a radiator instead. Here's a small selection - how many of these places do you recognise? How many have you been to as well?

We had a thoroughly good time - fish and chips eaten from the paper whilst perched on a wall by the harbour; ice cream from a delightful cafe at Nothe Fort park (with views to the sailing preparations for the 2012 Olympics), which strangely sold locally produced meat as well as the usual cafe fare. Sadly there was no room for the cake I'd wanted. Weymouth is a good old fashioned seaside resort with plenty to see and do. I find I have the need to go to the sea from time to time, so yesterday topped me up for a while.

Surprisingly there was quite a bit to interest the gardening enthusiast too. I found another use for snails right on the beach. And of course the seaside annual bedding schemes were out in full force. Here's a particularly eye catching (or frying) example. I'm not sure whether Ricinis communis (castor oil plant - better if you click the picture for an enlarged view) is the right choice for an architectural accent in a public display. What do you think?


  1. I used to go to Weymouth as a child - lovely place with happy memories.

    re the caster oil plant, I think it looks totally lost in that sea of orange, so not my choice of plant at all

  2. I've never been to Weymouth nor any of the 15 places (6 unrecognised) on your fridge (radiator) magnets but I'm sure I've seen that sheep before and in more than one location.

    Please note the ABC no-comment blog is continuing.

  3. sorreee but I LOVE that ricinus. I think it's playful and vibrant and seasidey.

    Last year someone did all our miniroundabouts in ealing with ricinus and perovskia and it was wicked!

    I can see what dnd means about getting lost but I like that shape against the marigold sea - and the red just adds a touch of class that makes it possible for me to stand their sameiness.

  4. Hi dnd and Emma - I was thinking more of the Ricinus being poisonous rather than the aesthetics. Especially as it was in every single bed along the sea front - usually more than 1 in each bed. In fact, I find it preferable to the Marigolds in the pictured shot.

    AB - thanks for letting me know :). I'll post up the answers when everyone's had a bit more time to look at the picture. BTW a clue re the sheep - in this case it's playing When Irish Eyes are Smiling and was a secret santa present at work one year!

  5. According to the guide at the Poisonous garden in Alnwick garden the Castor Oil plant is relatively safe - apparently it must be injected directly into the blood stream (witness the Russian poisoned umbrella saga).
    As a poison it can't be inhaled or absorbed through the skin, or ingested. Much to my surprise! I still wouldn't fancy nibbling on a leaf :-)

  6. Thanks for the extra info Easygardener :)

    I visited Alnwick before the poison garden had been planted, it looks like it's very informative.

  7. i like Claude.

  8. I was going to comment simply on the tasteful choice of bamboo canes and the creative 45 degree angle they have been set at. So much to think about while the lights change . . .

    And then I read Easygardener's comment . . .

    . . . but are you remembering that although the man who was poisoned by an umbrella (Georgi Markov) had the deadly dose injected beside Waterloo Bridge in London - he's buried at Whitchurch Canonicorum. What's that, would you say . . . about twenty miles from Weymouth?

    . . . Perhaps the Parks Department has more to answer for than we might think.


  9. I need that little crab magnet!!!!
    The paella is pretty good too.

    I have a bottle of Chateau d'Yquem magnet.

  10. My fridge also is no longer magnetic so my smaller than your collection now resides on the side of the microwave oven. Not quite as much space. The only place we have both visited is Dublin but like you I have also lived in the lovely city of Newcastle. I do like Monsieur Claude :)

  11. AG - so do I :)

    Lucy - aha, conspiracy abounds!

    Arabella - can't have him, he's mine. Wouldn't mind the bottle of bubbly though. A real one that is ;)

    Anna - why didn't I think of the microwave?


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