White chalk, PJ Harvey, Thomas Hardy, oysters, cliff-top walks, freezing sea swims, packed lunches… Yes, I am back from my summer holidays in Dorset.
I had a wonderful week and now kind of want to move to Bridport – rural idyll combined with a really exciting Arts Centre equals a win in my book. We stayed in a place called Eype (delightfully pronounced ‘Eeeep’!), which was just outside Bridport, a couple of minutes from the sea, and with walks along the cliffs to West Bay one way (one mile every morning for papers and a snack) and Seatown (two-and-a-half very steep rugged miles each way, worth doing once for the lovely Anchor pub at the end). These walks were all made nicer by the enthusiastic presence of Lily (my parents’ dog).
There were eleven of us celebrating my Nan’s eightieth birthday, all staying in a vast and gorgeous converted barn. There was singing (in English and French), barbecuing and garden sunbathing, communal breakfasts and, by God, there was dancing! There was also croquet, badminton, boules and, in most civilised fashion, an official cocktail hour every evening.
For me, there was also a bit of Thomas Hardy reading, a lot of listening to ‘White Chalk’ and ‘Is This Desire?’ by PJ Harvey (sadly, we didn’t bump into her although she’s a semi-local resident), a bit of writing but not that much.
However, now that I am back, I am fully powered up to get back on the Hard Work & Health Regime. That means running every day, writing every night; eating nothing but vegetables, whole grains, fruits and fish for a while; getting stuff done and making all my time as productive as possible. The last week has powered up my batteries enough to last me to the end of the year, I reckon. This is a good thing as there’s hard work ahead!
So that I can look back when times are more hectic, here are a couple of serene reminders…
Very happy with my healthy breakfast at the Hive Beach Cafe in Burton Bradstock.
Triumphant after our walk up the cliffs to Seatown (I'm second from the left and the bundle of fluff I am holding is Lily!).