The winter sun excursion to Cape Verde was over. I’ve mixed feelings about it as a holiday destination. Yes, there is much to love- the colourful culture, the [mainly] great restaurants and bars, the wide, wild coastline; but also much that is less enjoyable- the constant wind, the too-numerous roaming, wild dogs, the many abandoned building sites, scruffy with litter and dog poop. So, all in all, despite its frequent comparisons to the Caribbean, I’d certainly prefer the West Indies- which is more expensive, of course.
Back at home, we begin to think in terms of campervan trips. Husband enjoys pimping the van, sending for bits and pieces and always looking for ways to enhance van life. After the winter it feels like a good idea to get the van out for some day trips and get back into the swing of using it by some local travel. Even on cold, inclement days it’s a pleasant experience to park up somewhere, preferably with a good view, make some lunch, put the heating on and relax with a book.
So it’s on a grey, gloomy Sunday that we opt to drive out in the van, down the coast westwards to Weymouth for the day. Weymouth is a bit like Bournemouth’s poorer cousin, though the reasons aren’t clear. True, many seaside towns are impoverished and run down but it’s difficult to see why Weymouth would be. It has all the advantage that Bournemouth has, including stunning, sandy beaches. It has a direct rail link to London, albeit further down the line. It has charming, character architecture- including a beautiful Georgian seafront. It has a gorgeous harbour flanked by pretty, pastel coloured buildings; yet so much of the back streets and narrow lanes is unloved and in dire need of restoration.
But first, lunch. We need somewhere to park that does not have a low barrier and will be out of others’ way- and we find it, on the outskirts of the town, a large car park by the nature reserve- perfect! We can have lunch and a walk round the reserve, which has a sizeable lake and reed beds. It’s a short, circular walk but the cormorants are posing.
Then we’re off into town, to the seafront with its iconic clock tower and the sand artist, who has a permanent, sheltered stand these days. I love the buildings along the front, higgledy piggledy and characterful. The old harbour is also picturesque. Years ago there was a wonderful museum at Brewer’s Quay called ‘The Time Walk’ which was thrilling for children of all ages but no longer exists.
Rain has threatened all afternoon but we dash into a coffee shop as it begins to fall, then make our way back to the van for a rain-swept drive home…
Grace is the alter ego of novelist and short story writer, Jane Deans. To date I have two published novels to my name: The Conways at Earthsend [https://www.amazon.co.uk/Conways-at-Earthsend-Jane-Deans-ebook/dp/B08VNQT5YC/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2ZHXO7687MYXE&keywords=the+conways+at+earthsend&qid=1673350649&sprefix=the+conways+at+earthsend%2Caps%2C79&sr=8-1 and The Year of Familiar Strangers [https://www.amazon.co.uk/Year-Familiar-Strangers-Jane-Deans-ebook/dp/B00EWNXIFA/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2EQHJGCF8DSSL&keywords=The+year+of+familiar+strangers&qid=1673350789&sprefix=the+year+of+familiar+strangers%2Caps%2C82&sr=8-1 Visit my writer Facebook page [https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=jane%20deans%2C%20novellist%2C%20short%20fiction%20and%20blog or my website: https://www.janedeans.com/