What We Saw When We Couldn’t See

A day when the fog beckons

img_3897After a Saturday night out in Bridport which had delivered wine, beer and Hendricks Mojitos at the Venner Bar, the last thing I expected was an early morning. I am notoriously NOT a morning person

But at 7am on this December Sunday we threw on some layers, grabbed our cameras and headed off to soak up the atmosphere at West Bayimg_3830

The Station Kitchen Restaurant would have been a lovely stop – if only it had been openimg_3827img_3820

We walked by the harbour, where few brave boats headed out and quickly vanished. After taking a lie in, the sun stretched out, pushing the fog along the cliffs to Bradstockimg_3871

img_3927Leaving only stillness and calm in West Bayimg_3956

img_3955So: would you have gone out, or stayed in bed until the sun came up?

The Black Rabbit Effect

When is a pint more than a pint?

It hadn’t started well. As we waited to cross the start line of the South Coast Challenge on Saturday we heard that the Black Rabbit, the pub that held my dream pint at the end of the course, was now a ‘Harvester’

There were 100km and a sleepless night between me and what was apparently now a terrible pub

My friend and I split up after about 30km because he was struggling with my pace, so I was having to wait so long for him at the rest stops that I was getting stiff. So I quickly fell in with five girls who invited me to join them. All runners, we had similar mindsets, a fast pace, and the shared goal of completing in the target time of 24 hours. We spent the next 50km – definitely the most challenging part of the course – moving along together, much of it in the dark

I LOVED it!

At the 80km rest stop there were lots of problems with blisters and exhaustion setting in, and we had to split into two lots of two, plus two single walkers at various paces to maximise the chances of achieving the 24 hour target. At that stage it was 3am and I was still absolutely enthralled by the walk. My legs felt as fresh as when I started and I was looking forward to seeing the sun come up in a few hours. I did not have a watch or use of my phone, and so I would have to judge my pace if I wanted to finish in time

I crossed yesterday’s finish line at a jog (yes, I did) in 22 hours and 28 minutes. I was elated. I was there to clap for all the girls finishing the course, four of them within 24 hours and one only just after. We all enjoyed a glass of bubbly and had something to eat before partners arrived. I texted Brian to spur him on and he told me not to wait for him at the line, but to go and warm up in the pub with Baz

And the Black Rabbit? Not a Harvester at all, just a lovely place for a couple of pints of Tanglefoot and a meal, before a bath and a quick afternoon nap

Thank you for the supportive messages. I really enjoyed them and we also raised around 1200 pounds for Bloodwise

I feel great. My feet are already recovering from the bruising and my rogue ankle hasn’t troubled me at all

If this is ultra-eventing, bring it on!!!

 

 

Rough Seas at West Bay

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‘Rough Seas’ hangs over our bed

The wind was howling around the building, and yet we slept brilliantly. There is something strangely comforting about a storm (especially since the roof was renewed!). We grabbed an hour in the morning to take the cameras down to the harbour before packing up the flat to go homeIMG_7304

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The sea is possibly the most dramatic reflection of rough weather, and the landscape at West Bay changes completely when a storm hits. Last weekend the waves were hitting hard and herring gulls were out in force, riding the air currentsDSC_0132

It would have been fun to look for fossils as the tide was higher than we have seen for a while, but we couldn’t wait for the tide to turn. I love that there are still always people out walking (and plenty of runners) on the harbour and promenade, whatever the weather

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It amazes me that the face of East Cliff remains so golden, even in a storm. Despite its elemental beauty it demands respect, and due to this weather there are likely to be further cliff falls in the next few weeks

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seeking shelter

Wild Portland Bill


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The great thing about having a camera is that there is always something to do. Before we were parents Baz and I loved to jump in the car and head for wild weather. Clovelly in Devon was always a favourite spot. We’d park the car uphill from the high waves on rough nights, and the sea-spray would hit the windows of the seafront hotel. Our Dorset-based plan this Saturday was to take a bus to Charmouth and walk home along the cliffs to West Bay, lunching at the Anchor at Seatown. Storm Desmond made this too risky so we drove along the coast road and across the causeway to the wild and legendary Portland Bill

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It was not a day for pin-sharp outdoor photos – not with all that salt and spray in the air – but there was no shortage of atmosphere

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Baz laughed at how many pictures I took of the interior of Trinity Lighthouse, but the staircase was beautiful. Anyway, he took just as many

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In bed at night I can see the beam from the lighthouse, so it was amazing to see the lens, which can apparently be seen from up to forty miles away

Baz spotted 'the saddest meter ever'
Baz spotted ‘the saddest meter ever’

Outside, Baz was caught by a wave. The day grew rougher and he said how terrible it must be for the people in Cumbria who have been flooded by this same storm and lost so much, while we were unscathed

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