Monday, 10 September 2007


The sun was shining when we got up, but by the time we'd checked out of the hotel the sky was grey again. Nothing daunted, off we set for the ferry queue, which was about the same as it had been on Saturday. It didn't occur to us that it would have been quicker to drive north of Poole Bay, since we were going to Kimmeridge which is rather beyond where we'd been on Saturday.

This was a weekend of not thinking. On Friday I'd discovered, on arriving at Lorna's school, that I'd left my slip-on shoes at home. Since I like to drive barefoot, I'd simply not noticed that I'd not put them in. This meant I either had to wear proper shoes and socks, for which it was really too warm, or some rather ratty thongs that I generally reserve for scratting about in rockpools. Hardly ideal, but no-one complained.

Then we didn't think to put in the maps of the area, despite having both OS and geological maps. Coupled with my assuming that Jenny was navigating and her assuming I knew where I was going, we kept taking the scenic route. Lorna and Richard had had a camping holiday near Kimmeridge last year, so after a while I stopped ignoring the plaintive voices from the back saying "You should have gone right there, then immediately left".

And I forgot to put in the dremel, so was unable to carve a pebble head. Not that there was time, but I didn't even give it a thought, which is pretty good, for someone pretending to be an artist.

Arriving (eventually!) at Kimmeridge, I was determined to snorkel, so after checking out the visitor centre, I went back to the car to get into my wetsuit. However, no-one else wanted to swim, and I had the distinct (and mistaken) impression that Jenny didn't want me to, so I vacillated, then decided I didn't want to be sticky and salty all the way home, so didn't do it. Once it was too late, I realised that was a mistake. I very much regret not following the snorkel trail that was laid out in the bay.

Lunch was in the New Inn in Church Knowle, which appears in the Good Pub Guide and various other celebrations. The food was excellent and the staff courteous and entertaining. I had a very pleasant glass of sauvignon blanc and Jenny commented favourably on her Flowers bitter. In an unusual demonstration of commonsense, I gave away about a third of my wine so as to minimise the chances of an off-road excursion on the way home. Even so I was sufficiently knackered to ask Richard to drive the last bit from St Albans to Royston.

In the evening, after a very welcome bath, we went to see our friend Jane. Jane moved house on Friday, entertained family over the weekend and somehow managed to produce a wonderful paella for us into the bargain. Some kind of a superwoman, I think you'll agree. We had a lovely time, but were all completely zonked, so retired early. Thank you, Jane, that was a really splendid evening!

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