Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Tag Archives: Lyme Regis

Mud and stuff

These are the last few photographs from my sister’s visit to Dorset, the weather ranges from wet and windy through misty and cold and on the last day – the sun came out. I thought I would try out the new WordPress slideshow option – quite nice.

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My #2 son arrived home on Friday for the weekend. I wanted to show him the fossils at Monmouth Beach so on Easter Sunday, we set out to visit Lyme Regis which was a VERY BAD IDEA. I drove us there at around 11.30am. We drove around and around but couldn’t find anywhere to park, Lyme Regis was full to bursting. We hadn’t reckoned on it being a) the first sunny day for a while and b) a holiday and c) lunchtime so we eventually gave up and headed for Charmouth instead. Same deal, only this time we ended up stuck in a traffic jam along a narrow lane leading down to the car park and the whole queue ended up having to reverse back down the lane to get out as there was no room to turn around at the bottom. Nightmare. So we came home :-(

We tried again the next day at 3.30 as it was Easter Monday and we figured most people would be setting off for home. It was still busy but much better and we had a great time walking along the beach with Milo. We found an area of rock on the beach known as the Ammonite Graveyard. (Click all images to enlarge)

It is quite astonishing and extends for a huge area of the beach.

This my son walking across it…

The cliffs along this stretch of beach are really unstable after the heavy rain we have had over the last few weeks and we could see water streaming off the clay and also watched large chunks of cliff falling onto the beach – which was a little disconcerting to say the least. I read in the local paper that 3 separate lots of children have had to rescued from the mud recently.

In the second image, if you click on it to enlarge it you can see an large ammonite lying amongst the rocks…

Of course all the muddy clay from the cliffs and the wet sandy rock pools were irresistible to Milo who had a whale of a time…

His day didn’t end quite so happily though, as soon as we arrived home he was dumped unceremoniously into the bath…

Have you ever seen a sorrier sight?

My son went back to London on Tuesday morning and Milo has been sulking ever since. He normally spends his days lying at my feet while I work but I am obviously a very poor substitute for his best friend, my son, and right now, he is lying downstairs on the sofa in the kitchen sighing and looks at me very dolefully when I walk in. Even a walk hasn’t cheered him up. Poor pooch.

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A hunting we will go….

My sister and her husband are visiting Dorset. Yesterday, we decided to go to Lyme Regis. The weather wasn’t brilliant but at least the day started out dry. Compare this photograph of Lyme yesterday, with the second one of the same harbour in the summer….

The whole coastline in Dorset is a World Heritage site known as the Jurassic Coast. It is a rich hunting ground for fossil hunters and we were no exception we spent quite some time wandering along Monmouth Beach, to the west of the harbour and this is just some of what we found…it is ammonite central. Some of these are several feet across. (click images to enlarge)

The fossils are washed out of the cliffs which border the beach and which are composed of Blue Lias which are layers of limestone interspersed with clay. The cliffs are highly unstable and very prone to mudslides – which of course, the fossil hunters love as a mudslide generally deposits new fossils on the beach. The local authorities try in vain to persuade people to stay away from the cliff and in places it is forbidden to chip away at the cliff face. This group of fossil hunters were on an organized hunt so they were well prepared with hard hats (although I’m not sure they would protect you from having a cliff fall on your head…)

As we have had a LOT of rain recently the cliff face was particularly crumbly….and SO tempting.

We didn’t manage to find a pocket sized ammonite or any other fossil to take home but I have decided I am going to go on an organised hunt as I really want to know what I’m looking at. I found a couple of things that looked like they were something but I just wasn’t sure what!

We then moved on to Charmouth which is just along the coast from Lyme Regis and were going to walk to Black Venn – a famous place for fossils (and scene of a spectacular mud slide in 2008)  I found this when I was searching for Black Venn on the internet…

EEEK.

Anyhow, the tide was coming in and the rain was coming down so after a quick explore, we headed back home for a cup of tea. I’m really looking forward to showing my neck of the woods off to my sister  – if the dreadful weather would just improve. Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove next.

A nice day out

I had such a nice day yesterday. My girlie mate, Amanda, suggested we had a girls’ day out and we decided to go to Totnes in Devon. We chose Totnes as some friends, Sarah and Joe, have an art gallery there called White Space. It’s a really lovely gallery, selling a wonderful range of contemporary art. We went to see their Summer Exhibition which started yesterday. It was really excellent – you can view it online here. It was hard to choose a favourite but here are two I particularly liked – the first is ‘Peonies’ by Sarah Bowman and ‘Misty River Dart’ by Wendy McBride.

Of course, no girlie day out is complete without lots of shopping and a nice lunch. We managed to find both. After some very successful clothes shopping (a skirt, a top and a gorgeous little flimsy cardigan/wrap thing) I was thrilled to find a small but wonderful stationery shop called ‘Paperworks’ – a little gem and I bought some very pretty papers which you will no doubt see adorning some new books over the next few weeks. After a walk by the river and a cup of tea and a piece of carrot cake (Diet? What diet?) we decided to head for home but on the way back we stopped off in Lyme Regis, a beautiful little seaside town, on the Dorset/Devon border. You may remember Lyme Regis as the setting for the book/film ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’

The harbour wall where Meryl Streep is walking is known as the Cobb and dates back to the 13th century. Amanda and I walked the length of the sea front, past some very pretty thatched cottages and houses which I suspect are holiday homes, to the Cobb and then walked to the end of the Cobb to pose for our ‘Meryl Streep’ moment. It was quite breezy as you can tell from the windswept hairstyles, so no clues as to my new hair do just yet…

The views are quite spectacular. We could see across Lyme Bay to Burton Bradstock, which as you may know is my favourite local beach (see my header photo). The whole coastline here is called the Jurassic Coast, as it is full of fossils. We were amused to notice the lamp posts are all decorated with ammonite motifs to celebrate the rich heritage of this pretty and historic town.

Of course, by now we were hungry again so we bought a bag of chips to fortify us on our journey back home. All in all, a splendid day. So here for your delectation and delight are highlights of our day out (not including the shopping successes and the chips….)

Incidentally, I want to mention a competition I won over at Go Smell the Flowers a while back. Jim and Em regularly run competitions, the current one is to win some Belgian chocolates, by suggesting/inventing a new Olympic event. The prize I won was a year’s supply of flowers from Flora 2000. I have sent some as birthday and Mothers’ Day gifts and they have been absolutely beautiful causing much joy and earning me big Brownie points. I’m going to keep the rest for myself, I think. So thank you, Jim and Em, the prize is being much enjoyed.

And finally…a couple of things I found while Stumbling around. This must truly be the most disgusting snack ever invented. If you know of a worse one, I’d be intrigued to hear about it. Here it is.

A Krispy Kreme donut bacon cheeseburger. I can feel my arteries furring up just looking at the photograph. And next, today’s lesson.

Oops.

Anyways, amazingly the sun is shining so I am off into the garden to try and make a start on my tan before my upcoming holidays. Of which more next time…..

I just had to add this which I received from my friend in Los Angeles, Claire and then read about in the Sunday Times here. Watch the frogs which are quite clever and amusing and then keep watching. You will be astonished.