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Published: August 1st 2019
We bid farewell to John and Jane (after watching John filling up his neighbour's recycling bin with the empties from the night before), and headed for Weymouth as a staging post on the journey. Serena the SatNav helpfully offered several car park options, but the one I chose apparently involved going the wrong way down a one way street, so much to Serena's protestations we ignored it and motored further into Weymouth before spotting another car park with obvious spaces in it. This was the site of the second great Kirkup parking machine battle, but this time Helen was the recipient of its unhelpful machinations. She had enough change to feed the rapacious beast, but she couldn't get the money to go in. Eventually several other would-be payees gathered around and offered helpful advice, and it seems that in order to feed coins in you had to push them sideways in the slot, which was not exactly an obvious thing to do, but eventually the evil machine spewed out a ticket and we set off in search of some lunch.
We didn't have far to go. Adjacent to the car park (actually, within it) was a building called 'The Palm
House' which served light lunches and crepes. This suited us nicely and we feasted there before separating for a couple of hours.
One of the fascinating features of Weymouth is the harbour tramway, along which the boat train used to travel through the streets of Weymouth from the main station to the harbour, to connect with the Channel Islands ferry and to deliver and take away freight from ships berthed at the quay. Sadly ferries no longer sail from Weymouth the anywhere, and no freight is now landed, so the tramway is disused, but still extant, and I followed the rusting rail set into the roadway from one end to the other. I made a slight detour into a quayside pub to rehydrate with a pint of Dorset brewed 'Badger Ale'. Badgers are the favourite animals to show on wildlife programmes, such as Springwatch, and people like them and think they are cute. Not me. Having been face to face with one which invaded our tent several years ago, I know them to be bad-tempered and distinctly lacking in personal hygiene. In fact, long after I managed to shoo it out of the tent we were treated to the
vile odour it left behind. So whenever they appear on TV I tend to shout at the screen 'nasty, stinky creatures', which makes me unpopular at home, but gives me a certain satisfaction. My prejudice doesn't extend to the beer named after them though . . . . .
I got back to the car early, it was a hot day, and had a little snooze until Helen and Anna turned up. They had had their own adventures. They too had found the tramway and, like me, had followed the line of rails along a cul-de-sac. However, Helen was so preoccupied with (or mesmerised by) the line of rails that she ended up walking along them after they had turned out into a busy road, until guided back to the pavement by our vigilant daughter. Then they got lost and had to ask for help from an elderly couple who, in an archetypal role-reversal, led them gently back to the car park.
Our adventures in Weymouth over, we motored on through the lovely Dorset scenery, with occasional glimpses of the sparkling blue sea, to Lyme Regis which was to be our home for the next four days.
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