31 August 2008

Late Summer Fun

13 Shahrivar - Year 1387

Where did August go? It certainly seemed to go by quite quickly. As I explained in a previous post, Pixie and I decided not to attend a music festival this year. We did decide on a camping trip and got her family in on the plan. Her brother found a campsite in Dorset called Burnbake - he recommended it and from the photos on the website, it looked O.K.

It transpired that he and his family wouldn't be able to make it--so her parents and ourselves packed up and trucked down there last weekend (Bank Holiday weekend). The site itself is near Corfe Castle, only it's about two miles down a side road--quite a ways away from the village. We nearly were lost a couple of times, but eventually found it. After scouting some of the pitching areas (the site was already quite full when we arrived on Friday morning)--we found a pitch suitable for our small-ish tent and Pixie's parents' camper-van. A family was packing up their tent, so we asked if we could have their spot--then set up the tent once they had gone. It took Pixie's parents a bit of time to locate a level enough area for the van, but once they had settled, we then headed off to Studland Beach for the day.

We were blessed with decent weather and the beach was quite crowded. I had never been there before and found it a lovely beach--with fine sand and very little seaweed, aside from one stretch that was covered with dried clumps of it. the group split up and Pixie and I had a nice stroll down the length of the seafront, while her parents walked along the road leading to the beach and the area where the ferry departs for Poole (only about a ten-minute journey). Studland does have a 'naturist' (i.e. nudist) section, which is marked off by signs. I did feel a bit out of place, walking through there fully-clothed, but the naturists didn't seem to notice anyway. There were others traversing that stretch, wearing bathing suits--so I didn't feel that awkward. After stopping in Wareham for fish and chips (except Pixie, who's vegetarian), we returned to the campsite to find that our tent had been virtually surrounded by a few families that discovered the pitch and crammed in all of their gear in a relatively small space. They were quite noisy and had several children along, which added to the din. Pixie got to calling them "The Clampetts" after a while.

After a night near "The Clampetts", we decided the best option was to move our tent--so the next morning, we (rather efficiently) half-packed it and moved it over to the other side of the pitch, near the van. It was on a slight slope, but that didn't bother me--at least not as much as "Johnny - The Devil Child"s caterwauling in the night and early morning. Pixie's brother and our neices were able to travel down for the day - so we all trooped back to Studland Beach, this time with swimming gear and frisbee and camp chairs. The neices busied themselves by burying their Barbies and Dr. Who figurines in the sand, then by digging a hole in the beach and discovering water underneath. The rest of us went paddling in the water, which was cooooooooold (it appears the Gulf Stream doesn't quite reach that part of Britain)--followed by a game of frisbee. I was drafted in to help with the beach hole project...and after building a wall with the dug-up sand, decided to craft it into a sea dragon. It looked pretty good, with spikes on it's back and small black stones for eyes. I'd post a picture of it, but I haven't down-loaded the photos off of the camera yet. The time for leaving came around and we packed up our stuff and left our sculpture behind (surrounded by one of the neices' "Do Not Touch" signs scrawled into the sand). We stopped in Swanage for a pub-food dinner and then said goodbye to our visitors. Us campers trekked back to the campsite to see the night in and then crash out.

Saturday night was filled with a rainstorm, which continued into Sunday morning..making it a pretty miserable waking-up moment. We even considered packing up and returning home, but the rain cleared a couple of hours later and we set off for Lulworth Cove. The cove itself is quite spectacular, but it's a bit difficult to walk around, as the beach is covered with shingle. We wanted to see the Durdle Door, since we didn't trek there the last time we visited Lulworth. Up the huge hill and over to the Door we went. It's an impressive sight, viewing it sort-of up-close...after looking at photos and TV documentaries for so long. I started to feel a bit light-headed and had to sit down for a little while, so Pixie was on camera duty and snapped a lovely photo of it (another one to d/l from the camera). We had planned to walk down to the beach by the Door, but I didn't think I'd have the stamina to walk down the steep steps leading to the beach and then all the way back to the car park--so we left it for another time. I'm sure we'll be visiting Lulworth again. Returning to the campsite, we shared some dinner with Pixie's parents, then played a couple rounds of Scrabble and then it was time for sleep again.

On Monday morning (Bank Holiday Monday), we quickly packed up the tent and stowed the rest of our gear, had a nice breakfast with Pixie's folks--then got on the road. We detoured for a little while in Dorchester, the birthplace of author Thomas Hardy. I had never been there, but it seems like a fine small town. Pixie and I mainly just walked around in the shopping district, stopping in a couple of shops. I found a cool used bookstore, which contained a few boxes of LPs in it's basement section. I didn't see anything I absolutely had to have, so left them there, maybe for a future visit. After buying some lunch for the road at the local Waitrose, we got back on the road. The rest of the journey was pretty uneventful, other than viewing the beautiful countryside around Salisbury and Oxfordshire. We arrived home in the late afternoon, unpacked the car and sorted the clothes and other stuff from the suitcase. The rest of the evening was devoted to chill-out time. Another swell holiday for the record books (and photo albums).

Haven't been doing much the past week - just going back to work, listening to the 2-CD reissue of Anthony Phillips' The Geese And The Ghost and Danielle Dax's Jesus Egg That Wept EP and reading a couple of Jonathan Coe novels. Our own Singing Bear has started up another blog, after the demise of Tiz Yer Tiz. He's continuing his 'guerilla blogging' adventures by raiding the YouTube treasuries and posting musical clips of some of his favourite artists, giving a blurb on the artists' history and prominent recordings. It's called Action-Time-Vision and can be found here. Get over there and savour the man's posts, before he moves on again. I'll be starting on the new podcast episode soon--I'm working over a track list in my mind at the moment. See you there.

1 comment:

Singing Bear said...

Sounds like a delightful 'summer' break. Dorset is wonderful. I envy you for your trips to Lulworth Cove and Dorchester. I'll have to try Studland some time. Have you ever seen the Mike Leigh film, 'Nuts In May'? It is a tragically hilarious story of camping in Dorset. One of my favourite TV things ever. You'd love it, if you haven't seen it.

Thanks for giving the new blog a boost. I do hope to keep it going for a while. The last one was going OK but I didn't want to just put it on hold whilst I had my op etc. I just felt like rounding it off there and then. Also, I started to feel uneasy about some of the more personal posts. Decided to stick to music for a while. Things might change, though.