Saturday, September 7, 2019

Lyme Regis, a short tale

I'm looking at town names on Google Maps as we make our way to our yurt campsite (wouldn't you like to visit Puddletown?) when I notice how close we are to Lyme Regis.  We decide to make an unplanned stop.  Jane Austen wrote about this seaside town in Persuasion, and I find her descriptions online and read them aloud as we near the roundabout for our detour. 

The first thing I notice from The Cobb car park is a bright pink building, first in line of the long row above the bay.  The beach is made up of small brown, white, and gray stones, but there is a small strip of sand running into the sea as well.  The expanse of sand is probably much bigger when the tide is completely out. 

Three children are laughing and squealing as they swim in the sea, one last swim before summer vacation is over perhaps.  It’s not too windy in this protected bay.  Big boulders are piled along one side, and I can see tall rolling hills of green and brown in the distance.  They disappear slowly into the mist.

I spy a promising looking corner bookshop on the main road.  It is filled to the brim with stacks and shelves of books--so many books!  But there aren’t just books in the shop; it is filled with all kind of things.  Random things.  There are lava lamps, old paintings, and a trombone leans against a bookshelf in the corner.  Rickety wooden steps invite you to go downstairs, but I’m afraid the shop is about to close, and I don’t go down.  Ella finds an ordinance survey map of Scotland K.J. is looking for, and I give the preoccupied shopkeeper a two pound coin before stepping back onto the main street. 

Red, white, and blue bunting hangs across the street joining the two rows of shops and restaurants.  It’s a low uphill climb to the top of the street.  When I look back I can just see a rectangle of blue sea and sky beyond.  It starts to rain lightly.  It lasts just long enough for me to put my camera in its bag to keep it dry.  We turn around to walk back down the street, and shining through the rectangle is a rainbow curving gently toward the water.  I’ve almost forgotten what a land of rainbows England is, with its constant shift of rain, cloud, and sun. 

Suddenly a man steps quickly out of a bakery on the opposite side of the street with a big bell in his hand.  I'm just beginning to wonder what he's up to when he raises his arm and rings the bell loudly, calling out in a deep voice:  “World-class quiches one pound fifty!”  Clang!  Clang!  Clang!  World-class quiches one pound fifty!” and walks back into the shop in two long strides. Ella and I look at each other and burst out laughing.  She supposes that it’s closing time, and everything is marked down.  I love the idea of a small town crier coming out into the street every night to let everyone know the price of bread is now reduced. 

The rainbow lingers over the sea as we meet back up with K.J. and James at the public toilets and get back into the car.  It’s just a quick stop, but I'll always remember it.

"A very strange stranger it must be, 
who does not see charms in the immediate 
environs of Lyme, 
to make him wish to know it better."
- Jane Austen - 

Saturday, August 31, 2019

August Days

This August we soaked up the last days of summer vacation and stayed busy with friends.  We spent a lot of time in the woods and jumped into the school year full force.  We're packing for our family vacation and celebrating E's birthday.  These are the good old days.

August 1 - Spending time in the Woods with James

August 2 - Zoo Visit

August 3 - a re-read

August 4 - After-Church Fun

August 5 - Mediterranean Lunch with Friends

August 6 - When in Paris...

August 7 - Reunited with Old Friends

August 8 - Polly Girl

August 9 - Family Wedding Mail

August 10 - Garden Party

August 11 - A (literal) Walk in the Park

August 12 - Looking Out the Window

August 13 - Daisy

August 14 - The Park with Friends

August 15 - Evening Walk through Town

August 16 - Hollyhocks

August 18 - Leaving Lunch in a Parisian Apartment, Marking the Moment When This is Our Normal

August 19 - First Day of 8th Grade

August 20 - Local Wildlife

August 21 - More Fun with Friends at the Park

August 22 - Bought a New Cheese at Costco

August 23 - Sunny Summer Afternoons

August 24 - Afternoon Walk

August 25 - A Bookstagram Challenge

August 26 - Dinner in the Garden

August 27 - Two Readers in the Garden

August 28 - Day in the City

August 29 - Experimenting with Portrait Mode

August 30 - Late-Night Baking

August 31 - Early Birthday Celebration

Wednesday, July 31, 2019


Our July was filled with all the good things summer ought to have:  cousins, swimming, fireworks, camps, and heatwaves.

July 1 - Cousins, Numbers 1-9

July 2 - Cousin Love

July 3 - Shopping with the Cousins

July 4 - Independence Day Celebrations

July 5 - Movie Night

July 6 - Jump!

July 7 - Fresh Tomato Sandwich

July 8 - Cute Kids

July 9 - Delta One!

July 10 - Unpacking

July 11 - Summer Nights

July 13 -  Dog-Sitting

July 14 - Bastille Day Festivities

July 15 - Home, Sweet Summer Home

July 16 - Treat with a Friend

July 17 - Summer Blooms

July 18 - Scones + Sherlock

July 19 - Another Garden View

July 20 - BBQ Pizza for the Returning Swiss Adventurers

July 21 - Katt's Farewell Sunday

July 22 - One More Farewell

July 23 - Forest Walk

July 24 - Morning Walk before it was 100 Degrees

July 25 - Heat Wave!

July 26 - A hot week is good for reading books set in winter.

July 27 - The River Seine

July 28 - Allez, Allez!

July 29 - E made a red velvet cake...

July 30 - ...and I made an asparagus quiche.

July 31 - Wishing Harry a happy birthday with Ella

I hope your summer is filled with good summertime things, too.