Chesil Beach

Chesil Beach

A weekend away:

Friday evening in a pub listening to The Fallen Apples, chatting to two old friends about bands, people and pubs we have known. Of which there have been many.

Saturday morning walking along the coastal path to Portland Bill, which disappeared behind swirling fog just as we reached the crest of the nearest hill. We saw the base of its red and white stripes, and perused postcards to find out what it really looked like.

Saturday afternoon wandering around art galleries in Abbotsbury, then giving up because of the enormous expense. Do people really pay £30-odd for a bread board?

Walking across fields and skirting marshland to reach Chesil Beach. We heard people saying things like “on a clear day you can see Lyme Regis from here.”
We could see the sea, the shingle, and an infinite stretch of fishermen staring at the spots where their lines disappeared into the water.
We paddled at the edge and lay dozing on the pebbles, like a trio of tired pensioners.

Sunday morning visiting Portland Castle, a fascinating Tudor construction that looks like it was built in the 1930s.
That’s how resilient Portland stone is.

Sunday lunch at the Crab House Cafe, where we sat under rustling pink umbrellas in the breezy sunshine, swilling oysters and white wine.

Crab House Cafe

Days spent without the children seem to bend and expand, giving you space to sit and stare, time to do nothing, and still leaving you with half a day to read a book and explore the area.

Two days without the lunches, snacks, teas and bedtimes which form the building blocks of family life, and I could almost remember what I used to do with myself nine years ago.

The children spent the weekend with Daddy – probably didn’t eat a vegetable between them and may well have turned comatose in front of the telly.

They deny this, and were full of stories of their day on the beach and their afternoon in the park.

But that could be down to a pact of secrecy sworn by the three of them and signed in guinea pig blood.

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
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8 Responses to Chesil Beach

  1. Pacts sworn in guinea pig blood being the most binding, as we all know!

    Wow – a weekend away on your own. I made a brief bid for freedom in March, but by the time I got over the novelty of going to the loo on my own it was time to come home.

  2. Omega Mummy says:

    How lovely it sounds. Did you take a pebble from the beach like the author of the book (whose name eludes me completely) or were you more eco-conscious?

  3. Beta Mum says:

    This weekend away is becoming an annual event – I’m secretly planning another in the summer though.
    OM – Ian McEwan has recently written a book with a Chesil Beach link. In fact we read an excerpt from it (printed in the Guardian) while we were there.
    And yes, I did take one small pebble. Strictly forbidden of course, but I expect everyone does it.

  4. keep promising myself a weekend away. I watched a BBC 2 prog a few years ago and ever since have fancied a retreat at Worth Abbey but a more likely to end up at Champneys because big sis is paying.

  5. Drunk Mummy says:

    Its true – if I ever get any time away from the kids it makes me want to weep for the amount of free time I squandered before I had them.

  6. Sounds great, do you wear your sash when you go away for the weekend?

    I like your summation of family life.


  7. Beta Mum says:

    Clara – Champneys sounds just great.
    DM – squandering time is what being young is all about though, isn’t it? All those unwritten novels…
    SAHD – How astute of you to realise that I feel naked without it.

  8. Omega Mummy says:

    I am impressed. Now that’s the literary lifestyle I’d love. (Alliterative, too). Just keep on living it for me.

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