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We finally got going on Wednesday, and, armed with a geological pick, we headed for the Jurassic coast to hunt down some fossils. We went down a steep, narrow, winding road to look at the coastal village of Beer, and stopped to pick blackberries on the way back. We had to fight our way through spiderwebs though! In spite of her arachnophobia, Sandi ventured up close to take pictures and sample a few irresistible berries.
Just past Lyme Regis we camped at a very pleasant camp-site above Charmouth for the night. The following morning we drove down to its well-known beach, and found a swan with her brood of teenagers at the river mouth.
The black clay cliffs which are loaded with fossils

The black clay cliffs which are loaded with fossils

David then proceeded eagerly to cleave open rocks and scratch in the shales below the cliffs for fossils, as happy as any kid bent on destruction-without-censure!
Alas, we found none, but a kindly gentleman gave us a little pyrite ammonite he had just found in the shallow water.
The view towards Lyme Regis

The view towards Lyme Regis

Moving further along the coast we had a good vantage point overlooking Chesil Bank, which is a beach of shingles 29km long, joining up with Portland in the distance [from where Portland stone originates]
We drove up through the vales of Dorset [Thomas Hardy country] and stopped to take photos of the giant on the hillside at Cerne Abbas. No-one knows whether he is 400 or 1500 years old, but his outline is carved into the chalk of the hill, and he has certainly been around for a long time! Cheers to anyone who can keep it up for that long!
Beautiful autumnal red ivy in the village of Cerne Abbas.
We felt so welcome on arriving at Ebu and Jeremy again and spent 3 wonderful days eating, walking, and picking blackberries in the hedgerows, with Sandi capturing scores of beautiful pictures, as usual.
Ebu in her kitchen with fresh vegs from her garden


Old Man's beard

Old Man's beard

We also picked huge bags of damsons [similar to prunes] from the neighbour’s orchard, which Ebu turned into delicious damson puree for us. Delicious with icecream or thick cream!
Ebu took us to nearby Lytes Cary manor, but unfortunately it was closed. We did, however have a good walk around the estate.
IMG_0133.jpgSheep eating chestnuts

Sheep eating chestnuts

Hedgerows full of blackberries, but we were surprised to still see blossoms around

Hedgerows full of blackberries, but we were surprised to still see blossoms around

IMG_0141.jpgRed currants

Red currants



We spent a fascinating hour or two in the Terry Pratchett shop in Wincanton, poring over the fantastical souvenirs for sale, chatting to the larger-than-life characters milling around the shop, and getting drawn into the complex mythology. The rotund owner and creator puffs constantly on his pipe while talking, which miraculously never falls out of his mouth. The affable ginger cat we photographed months earlier was still sunning itself in the window!
Then it was time to head up to London; Ebu and Jeremy couldn't believe we were finally going!

Posted by davidsandi 03:00 Archived in England

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