“ We’ve come all this way and you are looking at a fecking tree stump!” exclaimed Ali as she observed Kaz, Claire and Miche ponder if a tree stump had been hit by lightening. It is the delivery I know and you had to be there, but bent over double, I had to find a tree lest I wet myself. I laughed so hard the tears ran down my legs!
The last day and we were visiting Durling Castle. Kaz had found this on a run reccy and promised us a flat stroll. Ah. We should have known better. As the steps led us down to the castle we were bound to have to walk up hill at some point!
The views were amazing. Dolphins can be sighted from the cliff tops and in addition to the tree stump we were sure we saw dorsal fins emerging in the sea. Funny how when you shout “dolphins!” everyone stops to look.
Ali, with the weight of the world upon her pondered the swim she is to undertake in August. It’s not that blinking far. Barely a hand span.
The tourist trap.
We had said at the beginning of the week that we would take some time out so that Kaz and Miche could do things that they wanted to do. Kaz and I also thought it important that Ali and Miche have some “couple time”. The off set of that is that so did we!
Kaz doesn’t do things by halves. She is well known for cramming a weeks activity into a day. We set off from base camp with the plan to visit Corfe Castle and to be astonished by the “blue pool”. Well so said the literature.
We were not to know that Corfe would be so enchanting.
An Enid Blyton shop attracted my attention whilst the testers of marmalade and scones in the National Trust shop took Kaz’s.
There are not many doors that I cannot get through without bending over but I found one in the village of Corfe.
A wonderful cream tea (you have to while you are in Dorset, Devon, Yorkshire, Cornwall, Lancashire… well anywhere really) in the shadow of Corfe Castle had us running inside to take shelter from hail stones the size of peas! They don; t half hurt when they hit you.
With all seasons in one day we were blessed with some sunshine for a steam engine ride. 2 minutes each way, it was an opportunity not to be missed.
And never one to miss a photo opportunity, I decided I was not in service. The station master had never seen anyone pick up the sign before and invited us to look at his tea room. In 40s style, Kaz just had to take a picture of the PAC testing sticker on the wireless. How could you resist?
Those that know me will probably have heard me say “ I never bring more than I can carry”. I am thinking of investing in a trolley similar to the one pictured below.
Or may be this one.
The staff at Corfe station are all volunteers. If you are into trains what an excellent volunteer role?
We ran out of time sadly and were not to be astonished by the Blue Pool. Our swim was scheduled for 5pm and so reluctantly we had to head back. It is worth noting that during her run reccy, Kaz had found free parking for us. We had been able to see the car as we went over the bridge on the steam train.
We had all enjoyed our “couple time”. Kaz and I are not a couple but we may as well be I suppose. We bicker like an old married couple and can finish each others sentences. The only difference is, that we tend to laugh when things go wrong. Rather than fall out and swear at each other we tend to make the best of things and see the best in things.
So when I fall over or trip on some imaginary hazard and Kaz laughs at me, I don’t get into a strop. This I think is all the evidence you need to know that we are not a couple.
So why is this instalment called Sarah’s log? Well. With the current in the right direction and swimming in to it, I discovered that you could have a poo while swimming. And not risk running back into it. Cutting out the middle man, (that would be the toilet) it seemed that like Pavlov’s dog, entry into Swanage Bay led me to want to have a poo. Fortunately this was not the case at Durdle Door (where there was no discernible current). And in reality it did not happen every time.
It is good thing to practice though as on a channel swim there is every chance that you may need to have a poo while you are swimming. And although it is still the Channel at Swanage, the sea is so clear and blue you could be forgiven for thinking you were elsewhere.
Somewhere over the Rainbow.
Buying groceries is an essential part of camping. Miche’s bistro turned out some excellent food. My highlight will always be Miche’s meat balls.
The Co-Op was relatively well stocked. And with a kitty of £50 each for the week (including wine and beer) with the option to put in more if we needed it (we did) we would venture to the Coop after the swim. No car park in Dorset is free including those at supermarkets. But Ali and I would stay in the car, under blankets and rocking steadily to keep warm. There was no fear that any one would steal the car. The heat when you opened the door would knock you out first if you were not put off by the rockers in the back!
One evening on the way back, we screeched to a halt, parked on a yellow as there was a magnificent rainbow. Kaz appeared to be texting and I (not known for my camera skills) said, “you are missing the picture –there is a boat in front of the rainbow, hurry up you will miss it!”
Of course you can get out of the car and make sure that the boat is in the shot (but I knew that really!)
You know that you have reached a certain age when a) you have a chair in the back of your car and b) you stop to admire the scenery.
Kaz and I also did this on the way back from Wareham on the first day. I was driving and we were at the summit of a hill with a great vantage point of Swanage Bay, Studland and the whole area. I drove into the view point and parked behind the only bush. “that’s a great view” remarked Kaz sardonically. And we laughed. (This is evidence that we are not a couple for a couple would surely have argued at this point!)
Kaz did most of the driving while we were away. Ali generously let Kaz drive her new car. I am not sure how generous that was really as 9 times out of 10 Ali would be sat in the back with me shivering under a blanket. It would be fair to say that she was incapable of driving at this point. Even though her car is an automatic!
I did however want to drive home. I like motor way driving. And I am a nervous passenger. Adjusting my seat, the wing mirrors and rear view mirror I depressed the clutch and put the car into gear. “It helps if you turn on the ignition”. Apparently. It doesn’t take much to make us laugh.
(I offer this as further evidence of us not being a couple. And, just in case you think I am protesting too much, I will not mention it again!)
I asked the blue tits for highlights of the week. But in fact there were too many to mention. In spite of the wind, rain and cold, we had a great time. Ali has become a convert to camping! She even suggested an extra night.
Thank fully the pitch was booked out. I say thank fully as on the Friday night a group had arrived. One of them snored for England. He looked like a snorer (given his girth) and that was before he started drinking strong larger at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
And so it was with great sadness that we struck camp. And you can see us striking a camp pose in the picture below. The purple wig got another outing. It is now possibly better travelled than its original owner!