18th birthday tour, day 7, THE BIG DAY!

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August 6th 2019
Published: August 6th 2019
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Well, it finally arrived, Anna's 18th birthday. We placed the balloon by her chair in the dining room and waited for her to appear. When she did the other residents spontaneously sang 'happy birthday' and the guest house staff gave her a birthday card, which was a lovely touch! Later on, they served her pancakes and fruit with a couple of candles on, just to make the occasion complete.

The plan for the day was for her to open her cards and presents that we had brought with us, then to have a leisurely day in Lyme until her friend Lauren, whom she met during last year's expedition to Ecuador, and who lived not far away, could meet her after work to spend the evening with her. From the look on her face when she got the forthcoming hot air balloon ride ticket, she clearly wasn't expecting it!

Initial excitement over, we walked down through the beautiful gardens overlooking the beach and headed for the Cobb, famous for appearing in the 1981 film 'The French Lieutenant's Woman', which none of us has seen, so we must rectify that when we get a chance. Although calm where sheltered by the Cobb, if you poked your head above it your hairdo was very rapidly rearranged! Having filled our lungs with ozone, we then needed to fill our tummies with lunch and headed for The Cobb Arms which serves wonderful food and good local ale! After that we separated and I wandered along the beach looking for fossils, this is the Jurassic Coast, after all!

Apart from a small section of man-made sandy beach, the beaches at Lyme are stony cobbles, mostly flint nodules, and are uncomfortable to walk on. Hard to believe that these extremely hard nodules were once soft sponges gently waving at the bottom of a warm equatorial sea. These are obviously the wrong sort of stones in which to find fossils, and I didn't find any. After which it started to rain so I headed back to the guest house.

After a quiet afternoon, we headed out again for tea and then met Lauren. Wednesday night is live music night in one of Lyme's many pubs, so we headed there and Anna celebrated being 18 by invoking her newly obtained legality, ordering cocktails at the bar (normally £8 each, on live music night it's 2 for £10). After a couple of these, Helen and I were flagging a bit, so we retired and left Anna and Lauren to it.

All in all, a very memorable day.

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