Thursday, 19 August 2010


The sun is shining again so the beach is today's destination. The boys are keen to do some fossil hunting, so the first destination is Charmouth . A quick visit to the pick axe hire shop and everyone emerges ready to start smashing rock. Again, the wheelchair unfriendly terrain forces me to view from a distance but I can see everyone is getting stuck in. I can't help feeling that Jake will feel more than a little disappointed when he doesn't return with an entire T-Rex skeleton

After a couple of hours of bashing the dorset coastline everyone returns up for a well earned lunch. Predictably one of the boys has lost their mini pick axe so the shop will be delighted with retaining their £12 deposit on a hammer worth five quid! There was some success in finding some fossils although I didn't see them at the time and they were subsequently lost by the the time we got back.

After lunch the non-wheeled contingent took the dogs for a walk up the coastal cifftop path for an hour or so after which, despite already being 4pm, we drove another few miles to Lyme Regis. The thinking being that if nothing else we could check out wheelchair access and return tomorrow if it was good. Sue and David, having been before knew about ignoring the first signed beach car park from which there is a long descent to the sea.

This was more like it; a sandy beach, not too steep a gradient, perfect for the wheelchair. The late afternoon sunshine was still warm and cast the bay in a wonderful warm glow. We claimed our spot while the boys headed into the sea. The rest of the afternoon was perfect, the only regret being that we hadn't been here earlier.

For the next couple of hours the boys pursued their normal beach activities. Jake divided his time between searching for rotting sea creatures and infiltrating other family groups with children who look like they would benefit from his sandcastle construction expertise. If we ever loose sight of Jake on a beach, we just look for someone sitting near the waters edge, surrounded by children doing all the work under their instruction. Nine times out of ten our search will be over.

Daniel will have commandeered a suitable person to tow his rubber ring around while he relaxes on it, and Luke will be dancing hilariously in the breaking waves or sitting in someone elses chair, huddled in a blanket telling us what a stupid idea it was to come to a beach on such a cold day.

Today, Alisha is the lucky person tasked with towing Daniel and everybody's chairs are safe as Luke does his mad moroccan water dance, the land based version can be seen here

Lauren manages a few minutes paddling before deciding that Alisha has cousin entertainment duties in hand. She promptly returns to her Blackberry !

By 7 o'clock the sun is starting to set, the distance cliff faces glowing in the evening sun makes a perfect backdrop for the holiday's official group photo before heading back. It has been a lovely afternoon and I am sad it is over. It is one of those moments I find quite emotional. The combination of the beauty of the place and spending time with all of my family contrasted by the knowledge that I may not do this again has inevitable results!

By the time we get back it is getting dark and while Tracy sorts out the boys, the owner David invites me to look round the barn with his project cars. They include a fantastic Daimler Dart convertible and a 3.8 litre 1960s saloon. The barn could accommodate many more and if it were mine I could easily fill it.


Anonymous said...

It's been great following your holiday antics. The photo of the family is lovely. I'm so glad that the holiday went well and the place was suitable for you all. Christine

Stuart L said...

Hey mate, finally got around to catching up with the blog. Great to see you all together at the beach having fun. Need to get a monster truck version of the chair Steve so you can scale those pebble beaches:-). We used to holiday at Lyne Regis and the local environs as kids, so it is nice to see your crowd enjoying the natural beauty that is so close to home when you bother to look for it.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great holiday Steve. Thanks for sharing it. Richard V