Raymond and Ernest’s Dorset holiday

I was feeling a little down in the dumps following some highs, which turned into lows with my new book - so what better way to cheer myself up than  to follow in the footsteps of Raymond and Ernest and head to beautiful Dorset. I hope you like the pictures, I have added the words from Cold Sunflowers.

"As the morning melted into the afternoon, lunch in a local pub would be the priority. The Pirates Inn became their favourite. They sat outside on the wooden benches, enjoying a basket meal and feeling the sun on their browning faces. The pub was beamed and dark with low ceilings, and had been the home to the leader of a notorious gang of smugglers during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries."

'The sea and sky filled the horizon. It was as though they were floating in the clouds high above the ocean, and Raymond sucked in a shallow breath. The road curved downwards towards the holiday camp but Raymond continued to look outwards towards the sea, shielding his eyes from the diamond pinpricks that burst through the wisps of white."

"The bus meandered through the narrow Weymouth streets, up the steepest of hills and out into the countryside. Raymond excitedly pointed out a large white horse and rider carved into the green hillside.

‘That’s George the Third. He often visited the town,’ said Ernest.

They sat in silence then, shoulders pressed together, moving to the slow rhythm of the bus. They soaked up the views, trying to memorise the sky and the sea and the cliffs, building a squirrel’s store of memories to warm them in winter."

"They waited at the next stop in silence until another bus arrived and took them to Lulworth Cove .....

They lay down on the pebble beach near the rocks and watched the world – there were families splashing in the sea, building sandcastles and eating ice creams. They hugged, jumped, ran and squealed. Their laughter fused with the sound of the sea and the chatter of seagulls, to form a perfect backdrop.

Raymond closed his eyes and listened.

He felt the breeze gently cooling his face and imagined being anywhere in the world and this same simple scene playing out over and over throughout time.

He prayed it would always be so."

"Raymond followed Ernest out of the cove. They walked back through the emptying car park and made their way towards a steep hill in the distance. The path was narrow and they strolled in single file, passing other walkers on their way back down."

"A younger bird, snowy white with slate-grey wings, flew alongside the two men, flapping, cawing and hoping, Raymond thought, for some titbits. But the bird just seemed to enjoy the quickening breeze and soared up and down at speed, as if showing off its skills. Then it glided close to them and looked directly into Raymond’s smiling eyes. For the briefest of moments, two hearts rejoiced at the simple pleasure of being alive."

‘This is what I wanted you to see,’ said Ernest, and he pointed towards a large dark rock formation rising from the sea. ‘That’s Durdle Door.’

But Raymond had already seen it and was looking across at the rocky promontory, mesmerised by the waves washing against the large natural arch formed in the limestone. Far below, several canoeists were paddling through the archway and the last few tourists were making the most of the surf.

‘I love it here,’ said Ernest. ‘I’ve been so many times with Violet. The weather has always been good. It’s such a happy place; today it’s perfect again.’"

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