Friday, 29 June 2007
It was no good, the persistent rattling of heavy rain made me tiptoe quietly downstairs for an early morning cup of tea before I made my way back to the South of France and the hectic holiday season which is in full swing.
Dorset is one of my favourite counties. The 'Jurassic Coast' as it is now called is a breathtaking piece of coast with picturesque seaside towns and marvellous coastal walks. Inland you can still discover country pubs that have not been blighted by the word 'gastro' reached by winding country lanes with rich green hedges on either side filled with wild flowers and ferns. On the way home one evening a startled baby deer bounded alongside the car and rabbits scuttled back to their burrows their fluffy white tails disappearing rapidly into the undergrowth.
There is a diversity of activities from the newly refurbished 1920's style Electric Palace Bridport to art festivals, food festivals, gardens open, and then there is of course the beach ...
Oh yes the beach, which was precisely where, and not unreasonably given that it is the end of June, I had hoped I might have at least spent one morning. Costume at the ready I was looking forward to my invigorating swim in the sea perhaps finishing off with a clotted cream ice cream. Fat chance. I've spent the entire week well wrapped up I can tell you, the unpredictable weather being a constant reminder as to why I gave up the love of my life, farming.
This week the storms have brought untold misery to thousands with dreadful flooding and tragic loss of life. It especially affects the farmers and the growers whose crops have been devastated. Soft fruit doesn't stand a chance against the cold and damp, taken with dollops of cream and sprinkled with sugar it sums up the British summer fare.
So as I head off back down South today to Le Chateau where temperatures are a pleasant 28 degrees by all accounts and turn my back on the miserable weather I would urge you to do just one thing for me. Buy as many punnets of English strawberries and raspberries and enjoy them while you can, because although I may have the sunshine I can't get either of these for love nor money !!
The picture taken last year is West Bay, Dorset.