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Monday, 13 January 2014

In the depths of winter...

... lay an invincible summer - to precis Camus.  After the dreadful weather we have been enduing lately there comes every once in a while a day like Saturday which lifts the soul and reminds us that there is hope.

My sister-in-law was with us this weekend and on Saturday we went to Weymouth for an outing and to take advantage of the beautiful day .

We walked round the Old Harbour... the Nothe and along the South West Coast Path.

The recent storms had washed up piles of seaweed onto the rocks.  Last time we did this walk we met a lady collecting seaweed for use on her allotment - she would have needed more than a few bags to collect Saturday's harvest!

The South West Coast Path turns inland for a while away from the fallen cliffs and as we walked along a quiet residential road we saw these.

Our route brought us to Sandsfoot Castle - a ruin but with fabulous views from the windows.

It's hard to believe it is still January and that the storms have been lashing this coast isn't it?

Tranquility in blue!

At Sandsfoot Castle we joined the Rodwell Trail which follows the route of an old railway line - it's been a while since any trains stopped here as you can see.

I love this litte bay - always quiet even in summer and a different world to the main beach at Weymouth with its Punch and Judy, donkey rides and so on.  Not that these were in evidence in January anyway of course.  We noticed a family on this little beach cooking lunch on a little barbeque sheltered amongst the rocks and it looked such fun.  Children poking about on the sand and in the shallows in their coloured wellies and Mum sitting on the beach well wrapped in her coat whilst Dad cooked whatever they were having for lunch.

We had no food with us nor any barbeque so we crossed the road and wended our way to the Chesil Beach Visitor Centre where we planned to have our lunch.

Last time we were here we ate indoors by the window and this was our view but this time being a Saturday, being a little earlier in the day and lunchtime and being the first sunny day for what seemed like weeks all the world and his dog were out and wanting to eat here so that we had to sit outside at one of the tables in the sunshine.  Imagine eating al fresco in January especially after the weather we have had!  The sun on our backs was warm but by the time we had finished our sandwiches our hands were cold and we decided to have coffee indoors as by then there were spaces at the tables.

Having warmed up over our coffees we set off  to walk along Chesil Beach to Portland and to get the bus back from there.  It was hard going walking on the pebbles but beautiful.  Looking towards Portland.

Looking the other way towards Abbotsbury.

Looking to the left towards Osmington across the bay.

The beach was littered with rubbish washed up by the storms.  I found a couple of pretty bits of drift wood to add to my shells and pebbles on the bathroom windowsill.

I was shocked at just how much of the debris was plastic and especially those coloured plastic disposable cigarette lighters - there must have been hundreds of them in the stretch we walked.  I felt Nature was saying "Disposable?  No way - you can have these back!"  Where does all the rubbish come from?  Is it tossed overboard from boats?  Although that can't necessarily be true as apparently a dead cow was found amongst the stuff when conservationists helped to clear some of it from the beach!

Having walked on the pebbles for about a mile our legs and feet felt very strange when we stepped off onto the pavement at Chiswell where we caught a bus back into Weymouth (we all have bus passes of course!) and this was the view of the main beach where we had started earlier in the day now with the sun sinking and lighting the distant hills with an orange glow.

On the drive home the sky ahead was a watercolour wash of pink and blue ...

...whilst to the west the sun sank gradually below the horizon and every twig on every tree was delicately outlined as a black silhouette against the wonderful sky - shades of bright orange through peach, lemon, pale blue and deeper blue - beautiful

The end of a beautiful day! Home just before it got dark and had the kettle on soon after!  Nothing can beat a day out walking in the fresh air for raising the spirits. 


  1. What a lovely day out. Don't know how you walked that far on those pebbles, they are murder to walk on. Glad to see that the weather has improved and there are signs of Spring around.

  2. Oh thank you for that day out, i enjoyed it too!
    I guess you slept very well that night?
    Would have loved to have gone poking through the debris for 'treasures' and if I'd had a bin and trolley for it, would have collected up some of the rubbish.
    I still would love to live near to the sea, love beachcombing.

    Lovely post, thank you! xxx

  3. I am DEFINITELY not living on the sunny side of the street! No sun here for days but lovely to drink it up via your walk and photos. After the battering Dorset has been getting it's lovely to see.

  4. Wonderful. And that family having their simple little picnic, that's the sort of thing that children remember, and they didn't spend bundles of money, either. So glad you just went out and enjoyed nature and the day. What a gift from God! I always enjoy your posting, Jane, all the subjects you cover and your childhood memories that I never did finish reading. Have a great week Jane!

    1. You certainly made the most of the lovely weather. Everything seems enhanced after the greyness and storms, doesn't it?

  5. Blue skies, quiet empty beaches and a few fishing boats - perfect :-)

  6. That looks like a completely wonderful day. Your photos are beautiful. What a shame about all the storm debris. You're right - where does it all come from??? And goodness knows how much is still out there.

  7. Great day out with you! And this weather - hmmm, I'm feeling a bit wary of it, my garden is putting up green shoots everywhere and I just know the heavy frosts or snow are going to hit us soon and the seasons will be out of sync. Meanwhile, I suppose, enjoy that lovely sunshine!

  8. Gosh what a lovely day out and such beautiful places you have to visit. I thoroughly enjoyed this little post and your photos were stunning. So glad the weather has cleared up and you had a sunny day. Despite our polar vortex last week I spied the shoots of my daffodils poking through. Of course it will be March before I see their flowers!

  9. I heard on the radio there was bad flooding when the see breached the defences. it all looks very peaceful now. Do you remember when all the garden makeover programmes used pebbles? people started taking bagfulls from Chesil, I believe it is illegal now. I have a photo of a lighthouse at Weymouth, which the public were allowed to climb up inside. I think it was Portland. Jim and Lewis went up inside, I don;t like heights :-D

  10. What a wonderful day you had
    Julie xxxxxxxxx

  11. I just wanted to bathe in the blue of that sky! Happy New Year :)

  12. Wonderful photos Jane. I just wish I had somewhere beautiful to walk and someone to go with! It is hard to believe that this place was reported as being like hell on earth only about a week ago. x

  13. Really lovely beach scenes. The bright blue sky makes everything look warm, although I'm sure the wind was chilly.

  14. What beautiful photos, lovely views looks like a grand day out :)

  15. This makes us very nostalgic. These are beautiful photographs. We miss our bus passes and the English coast.


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