Monday, 31 December 2007

Seaside frolics

After spending the last few days more or less holed up in the house, eating like greedy fat kings and watching TV till our eyes dried up, we decided we ought to go out. To stop us getting rickets, if nothing else.

Mr WithaY suggested we head down to the coast and see if Tyneham village was open to the public. It's a tiny little place that was evacuated in about 1943 so the Army could use it for training; after WW2 ended, the Army hung onto it.

Much to the dismay of some of the former residents, who had expected to move back there, and kept petitioning the War Office about it for years afterwards. Well, you would, wouldn't you?

We walked down to the coast, which was very pleasant, watched the sea for a bit, admired the Jurassic coast (no dinosaurs thankfully), expressed dismay at all the rubbish washed up onto the beach, and then scrambled back up the muddy banks onto the path, getting covered in crud as we did so.



We walked round the ruined village which was very sad. They have put little information plaques up in some of the houses telling you who lived there, with photos of some of the former residents.

What was incredible to me was the size of some of the households. Two or three roomed cottages with eight or nine people living in them. That's all the rooms in the house, not the number of bedrooms, mind.

And not always many children, either. Some of the houses had several adults living there, in what must have been rather cramped conditions.


Still, they did a lot more of their living out of doors than we do. One little note staggered me. It mentioned that the women of the village used to walk the 12 miles there and back to Weymouth to get their groceries.

Walk. 12 miles.

Pushing prams, because that was how they lugged all their shopping home again. I would gripe about walking 2 miles to get the shopping, never mind 12. And it's hilly country round there. With a small child or two in a pram to boot.

No wonder they all looked about 30 years older than they really were. They were some tough people.

This made me laugh though.


And Mr WithaY was delighted to find these....

They look like Klingon must-have accessories, but are in fact shark egg cases. And he brought them home. Presumably to put next to his collection of whale's teeth.

Almost forgot. Before we went to the village, we stopped off at an excellent pub and had lunch. There were two old ladies having a lunch too, and were talking very LOUDLY. I assume at least one of them had a hearing problem.

One of them dropped her knife on the floor "Oh no! I've dropped my knife!" she bellowed.

"Do you need it?" asked her companion.

"Well, I think so" she said.

"No you don't. Just use your fork."

I love old ladies.


Ricardipus said...

Heh. Excellent old lady that. I wonder if she could convince the Junior Ricardipi to use either a knife OR a fork. That would be an improvement.

And yes, trudging 12 miles to get the shopping in would be incredibly onerous... at 3 miles an hour, that's, um, four hours. Twice in the same day. Yikes.

livesbythewoods said...

It's beyond comprehension. I keep trying to imagine it and failing.

I suggest offering the sprog a funnel and rammer.

John said...

You scrambled....up those banks....? They look mightily steep!

Perhaps you and these distance-walking ladies have more in common than you think!

Caro said...

So I'm a potato-headed yokel am I?

I love your history lesson. What a beautiful town.

Sometimes I walk to the grocery for exercise. It's about a mile. I used to feel all virtuous and now you've ruined it for me. LOL

tony h said...

Okay, be VERY careful of the black shark egg case. I've seen enough scary movies to know that it'll probably come to life one night. You wouldn't want that thing pouncing on you during a midnight trip to the loo!

livesbythewoods said...

John, don't be a mentalist! We walked up some very low, non-steep banks. Although I did fall off some rocks. Those cliffs in the photos were really high and looked like they had landslides every 5 minuts. Brrrr.

Caro. Yes, King Edwards, I think. :-)

Tony. Great, that won't give me nightmares at all. Gah.