Slow summer in Dorset

Thursday, 21 November 2019

This summer I grabbed every opportunity to spend time with my family. I couldn't set aside whole weeks to join them on their holidays, but a couple of days here and a meeting in a random town to hand me over to the next group for another couple of days, meant I got to have a little quality time. My mum's family have been going to this little village in Dorset since my grandfather was a child, and after a bit of a gap in visits, my mum, nan and aunt began going back again to revisit some of their childhood haunts. I've never been, so it was lovely to take walks my family have done for generations, and learn about the time they've spent here. I got the train down and we went straight out on a walk to blow out the cobwebs. For the rest of the afternoon I worked from the cosy low-ceilinged living room of our cottage, and popped up to the pub for a pint of cider and to listen to local bands playing to a room filled with tipsy, happy people. The pub combines my favourite things (pints, and museums) - it doubles up as the local museum, filled with fossils and bits and pieces found over the years.








My mum and I walked around the village, talked about who used to live here and how people still remembered our family. My nan has been swimming in Chapman's Pool for decades, and it was perfect last year during the heatwave - unfortunately it was too cold for anyone to want to strip off this year, plus a big storm had pulled up a lot of seaweed on the shore. Still, we watched the waves, hunted for fossils in the debris, and ate packed sandwiches and chopped apples on the beach. On our walk, we pointed out plants we didn't know and had my nan identify them as she's done forever; we guessed bird calls; we counted butterflies. At the pub for dinner, the dog got fussed over by every person who walked past and got sneaked treats by the bar staff.









The next day, we went to Corfe to look at the Castle (from the National Trust tea shop, with biscuits and tea) and picked out houses in the village we'd like to live in. I hunched over my laptop for a few more hours before we took a final walk out to a point up the coast, watching the sun set over the bays up the coast. We all got cold, and so we headed home ready to wrap up in blankets to sit out - you can see the milky way in its glory out here, instead of the light fog that you get in London - and I saw my first shooting star.  










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