Sunday, June 30, 2013

Along the Jurassic coast

It’s been a seriously difficult week.  Stress and crisis filled every day: it started to interfere with sleep, digestion, confidence.  Even I can realize when its finally time to step back and get some perspective before something worse happens.  I turned to the window and dialed friends outside Bournmouth, asked if they’d mind giving me refuge for a weekend.

Old-Harry-Rocks-DorsetThey live near Canford Cliffs, a lovely upscale village next to the Jurassic coast of sheer chalk walls rising straight from the cobalt sea, changing color with the light.   The weekend weather couldn’t have been better: sunny and breezy, blue water and high thin clouds.   The younger kite-surfers were out on the lagoon in force; other parents convoyed power and sailboats past the Chain Ferry and out to sea.

We took the Yellow Ferry to Brownsea Island, famous as the founding home of the Boy Scouts and a big population of red squirrels.  It reminds me of Maine, tall red-trunked pines and driftwood beaches, islands dotting the horizon.  We walked the circumference, enjoyed tea, talked a storm comparing countries, peoples, customs. 

Then over to Swanage to see the Corfe Castle ruins, drop their kids at horseback riding, on to Pimms and lamb with a chatty group of their friends.  It was long ago, long forgotten, normalcy.

Poole’s houses are huge by British standards, but squeezed together like American developments.  They are of two types, classic British country houses and Miami-modernist white plaster and blue glass. 

My favorite was Emprio (£3.9 million, although the realtor confided that she’d take £3 million if I paid cash).  The third-floor master bedroom had a glass wall with panoramic views of the harbor across the foot of the bed.

We all talked a lot about life, generally and in it’s particulars for the week; my worries and theirs.  It really helped me to air out a bit; hopefully my stomach stays unclenched when I get back.

More pictures, of course, on my Flickr site.

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