Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Greengrocers' Apostrophe

Woke up to a glorious morning over the beach, and tea and coffee delivered to the door at 8am. Down to breakfast at half past, where we were the first ones in, so got to sit in the window looking out over the sea. There was a choice of cereals and fruit to start with, I had one of the posh yogurts, in a little glass pot, blackcurrant and very creamy. We were given big glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice and cafetieres of coffee (they do do good strong coffee here!). We both went for the English breakfast, avoiding the mushroom option, and me the black pudding. Very good (especially the sausage), although as we commented later, a restrained plateful. For £320 per night, I want both halves of the tomato, please.

Checking out around 10:30, we were driven back across the beach and released from the holding pens. Had decided we would 'do' Lyme Regis en route, as we didn't have to be at the cottage until 5pm, although sadly the weather closed in until it was rather grey and cold and slightly rainy. Rather pleased with one roadside stall that we passed though, which promised "Potatoe's", "Straw-berri's" and "Beding plants".

Arrived in Lyme Regis where they are undertaking massive restructuring works on the foreshore, to strengthen and protect from the storms that blow in. Watched two big tipper-ships shuttling back and forth from a larger ship out at sea and dumping masses of shingle for the JCBs. Recognised the harbour as the launch point from the Three Grumpy Old Men in a boat series with Craig Rich, Chris Denholm and Ron Bendall, which I'd forgotten.

The tide was in, so we couldn't walk along the cliffs and look for fossils, so went into one of the fossil shops and bought one (a local ammonite). Big on fossils here - the street lights are wrought iron ammonites.

Had a rather lardy ice cream from a stall on the front, allegedly cherry and kirsch, but more like lard and er, lard really.

Found a good second hand bookshop (good in the sense of lots of higgledy piggledy stacks and staircases and piles of books and bric-a-brac, all with twenties music playing over the top, although not so much in the sense that didn't find anything I wanted to buy).

"It's all gone a bit Midsomer Murders"
Drove from Lyme Regis to Bridport, where we stocked up on basic provisions for the week in the Co-Op (gotta love these little local suppliers). Still a little early to get the key to the cottage, so drove past the turning for Netherbury and went on into Beaminster, which is very pretty, and had a pint of Copper Ale in the Red Lion.

Later, found the cottage which stands by itself with a secluded garden full of blossom. Bigger than it looked from the pictures, comprising living room, kitchen and bathroom downstairs, and one bedroom with sloping roof upstairs (and random garotting steel bars across the roof space).

Now, the location and the building were wonderful, but the execution left a little to be desired. I'm not one to complain, as you know (heh), but: a used cake of soap in the shower; no washing up liquid provided and dirty pan lids and scissors; a very odd (and, it turns out, persistent) antiseptic smell (possibly the air freshener I've unplugged, possibly not); exposed carpet tacks on the stairs (ow); no soup bowls (which meant two goes with weeny cereal bowls at dinner, which was soup). Also, appalling china (doll, teapot houses, hundreds of ornamental plates) and plastic flowers everywhere. So, tomorrow, we must purchase incense, washing up liquid, a tin opener and a bath mat. But, as I say, the cottage and garden is worth it all.

Had chicken soup and crusty bread for dinner, then collapsed to watch Dr Who and NCIS before turning in. Very eerie howling from outside as soon as we'd turned the light out...


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