I’m back from my summer holiday this week and struggling a little to get back into the swing of things. This year my partner and I returned to one of our favourite places in England, West Bay on the Dorset coast.
West Bay lies a few miles from Lyme Regis and is where the 18-mile long Chesil beach ends. It has a little fishing harbour and the magnificent sandstone East Cliff. It is probably not the most picturesque village but it feels very real and is ideally placed for cliff-walking, which I love.
This being England, we experienced all weathers in a week.Thick fog, driving rain, high winds and sunshine – quite a bit of it. I came home with a new wardrobe of waterproof clothing and some magnificent blisters.
What I love about Dorset are the cliffs, the sea, the rolling hills, the sense of history – Dorset boasts the Jurassic Coast where the first dinosaur fossil was found in 1811 near Lyme Regis.
The spirit of Dorset has been captured in literature by writers such as Thomas Hardy in Tess of the D’Urbervilles, John Fowles with The French Lieutenant’s Woman and more recently Tracey Chevalier’s wonderful novel Remarkable Creatures about female friendship and fossil hunting in the 19th century.
After a week of walking and relaxing beside the sea I became aware of a new energy within me. Walking for hours cleared my head – I didn’t think about anything except how wonderful the view was or how to climb the next hill without having a heart attack. It was like a meditation, focusing only on the present. The tiredness and despondency I had been feeling before the holiday suddenly lifted and I felt my old enthusiasm for life and work projects come trickling back.
Now that I’m back in front of my computer, I hope it lasts. The fantastic London sunshine is certainly helping. In the meantime, I have some photographic memories to inspire me. I hope they inspire you too.
Click on each of the thumbnails below to see an enlarged version of the photograph.