Thursday, 7 July 2011

A tussle - and a summer weekend

Still tussling with the 2nd part of our impromptu weekend post - not sure what's happening there but I will get it to work!!
In the meantime a little update on my last weekend which seemed quite quintessentially English summer to me.  I mentioned I would be in Dorset for at least the Saturday.  So - I caught the train on Saturday morning to Axminster and changed here to one of the Jurassic Coast buses - these take the long way round along the coast visiting all the little coastal villages and towns en route so they're not the quickest way to travel but I've never been on one before and it was a very pretty and relaxed way to see the countryside from the top deck of the bus.  We wended our way up and down valleys towards then away from the sea and passed through Uplyme, Lyme Regis (road full of people dancing with big colourful umbrellas - it was the Jazz Festival so we sat gridlocked there for a while) followed by Charmouth, Morecombelake, Chideock, Bridport (main road closed for an antiques fair), Winterbourne Abbas, Martinstown (great plant stall outside someone's house) and finally into Dorchester through Poundsbury at the top end.  Now these names are a litany from my childhood - guaranteed to spark all sorts of nostalgic and coming home type feelings so to be swaying along in the sunshine surrounded by the green of the beautiful countryside and the sparkling of the sea - well - it was truly great.  Plus of course you get to be extra nosy from the top deck of a bus.  I saw some great gardens and then in the window of a bungalow a toy bear the size of a, say, 10-12 year old child sat in an armchair gazing out.  Their lawn was massive and all grass - it was crying out for veg or even vines given the site but instead was this big featureless turf. Anyway - if people would rather spend hours mowing and scarifying etc than tend their own fresh veg that's their affair.  In Lyme Regis I spotted a shop that seemed to specialise just in roast meat sandwiches - mentioned this to the Chap and he seemed quite taken by the idea of a visit!

Anyway - having met with the folks in Dorch' we made our way to the New Inn at West Knighton.  It's a pretty place; surprisingly large but I think must have been a coach house originally going by this arch type bit into the yard. 

The food was lovely, generously portioned and good value for money.  I had the linguine which was on the specials board as coming with Chorizo, Crayfish tails and Chilli and asked if I could have it without the Chorizo.  This was no problem for them and they made up the difference with extra crayfish (or I assume so - there was certainly loads in there) and peppers and mushrooms.  It was tasty and filling and a testament to the friendly nature of this place.

Having supped and eaten our fill here we pootled back to Dorch and had a quick gander at big sis's allotment plot, stopped into the town centre so I could buy some Dorset Blue Vinney cheese at The Fridge deli then I clambered back aboard the bus for the journey home.
I managed to get one of the seats at the front on the way back - the windscreen was the site of a thousand insectile deaths but afforded a wonderful view.  It's warmer though as you're missing out on the cooling breeze further back from the open side light windows.  I got these views coming into Lyme Regis.  There were masses of holidaymakers at the stops here - I had no idea people still travelled this way so much.

There is one reason I gave up on bus and coach travel years back - the punctuality or lack thereof.  Now we were 20 minutes late into Dorch' due to various festivals and fairs as mentioned.  I was very much hoping this wouldn't occur on the return journey as I had 13 minutes time between the bus getting in and the train supposedly departing...  You've guessed it - we pulled up at Axminster station 2 minutes after my train was due to leave - with an hour before the next one was due.  Well -  bless the spirit of British Rail that still lives on in my train's 8 minute delay meaning I caught it and was soon headed back home to the Chap.
He met me off the train and off we went to a friends BBQ where I could sit down and relax; first having been presented with a glass of Pimms.  How British-summer is that?!

On the sunday we took a little wander down to the quay to see some of the dragon boat racing - this time I took a hat as I was a little pink from the day before in the sun!  We had a can or 2, dangled our feet over the water before heading back for an after-bbq bbq in the arvo to use up the leftovers from the day before.  Time spent well with good friends and family in the sun.  A thoroughly lovely weekend.     :-D

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