Attic24: Celebrating Seventy Seven


I took another trip down to Dorset a week or two ago, my third this year, and honestly I wasn’t sure if I was going to blog about it or not. I had this feeling that these rather repetitive trips don’t especially make for very good blog fodder (even I get a tiny bit bored with the same routine themes of my life on repeat), and yet….while I was there I did feel inspired to take a few photos which somehow make me happy and seem like they might be worth a share. 

I have to say I’ve been enjoying the long train journeys to Dorset, they seem to ease something inside my mind, like loosening a knot that you hadn’t realised had become too tight. I sit and look out the window, absorbing the changing landscapes and relaxing myself with a little visual meditation. May is such a lush time of year and the English countryside is positively glowing.


I’ve often spoken about my routines when I’m here at home and the walks that I do with J every morning. I find that starting my day with some fresh air and exercise gives me a much needed energy boost and really helps me feel good about the day ahead. The first morning I was in Dorset I knew instinctively that I needed to try and keep this routine going, because the days spent with my Dad are quite stressful.


I decided to take one hour every morning for myself, so that I could stride out, breathe in the fresh early morning air and find a positive mindset.


It takes twenty minutes to walk down to the town from my Dad’s house, and it was lovely to see how everywhere was blooming. May isn’t a month that I would usually see in Dorset, and I can tell you that it’s really beautiful. The trees full of fresh greenery, the hedges bursting with cow parsley and pretty wisteria draped over many of the houses. Absolutely delightful.


The main street running through the town was near on deserted at such an early hour in the morning, but I’d done my research. Well you didn’t think I would be power walking for an hour without a cheeky little revitalising pit-stop, did you?


Lucky for me, one of my favourite coffee shops happens to open its doors at seven thirty (I wholeheartedly approve) and I was drawn there like a bee to a flower. It’s a large, airy place full of character – old wooden floors and fireplaces, a mismatched array of furniture, exposed brick walls hung with pictures.


I took a seat at one of the coveted tables right by the front window and savoured every little sip and slurp of my frothy coffee. I only had twenty minutes to spend, but it was enough to give me the lift that I needed before walking back and facing the day head on.


I was really lucky with the weather during my short trip and it was mostly clear, sunny and warm. It made me so happy to spend lots of time outdoors, even if I was just sitting quietly in my Dad’s garden listening to the birds with the sun on my face.

Ah, I forgot to mention the main reason I was in Dorset this time was for a celebration – my dad’s seventy seventh birthday. My brother and sister-in-law were also visiting for a few days so it was lovely for us all to spend time together.


The birthday day was a whole mixed bag of emotions. There were some sticky moments (dementia is an unpredictable beast) but mostly the day was a pretty good one. We went out for breakfast, ate cake and drank prosecco, and relaxed in the garden. In the evening we went out for a meal at a local Indian restaurant and the food was seriously yummmmmmy. I think I can definitely say I enjoyed it the most, I get so excited by a super-tasty meal that I didn’t have to cook myself. Such a luxury to just sit there and have someone else bring food to the table, I’m sure all Mums out there would agree with me.

I took the above photo while I was with my Dad sat on a bench waiting for Lady B to pick us up in the car. It was after our meal out, you know when you have a deliciously full belly and feel all content and sleepy? That was me. It was about 7pm and the light was so beautiful, all rosy and soft and glowy. These long, light-filled days fill my soul to the brim with happy-dust, I can’t fully find the words to explain how much I adore it. Happy, happy, happy, from the top of my head to the soles of my feet.


I’m used to waking early (6am is my usual getting up time) and during my stays in Dorset my routines and body clock stayed unchanged. Getting to see what six in the morning looks like in Dorset in mid May was an utter delight, it’s sooooooo beautiful! I mean, just look ↑↑↑ at that exquisite light !!!


The day after my Dad’s birthday was a Sunday, and we’d arranged to go for family brunch at an old favourite place of ours down at West Bay. I’ve spoken about Rise Café before on my blog, it’s in such an idyllic setting that I find it hard to resist. With such warm, sunny weather we were able to enjoy a leisurely morning meal sitting at one of the outside tables on the deck overlooking the water. 


By this point, I’d been down in Dorset for three days but hadn’t had a chance to really see the sea. I could hear it calling loud and clear, a pull so strong that I felt twitchy just thinking about it being RIGHT THERE and yet not getting to see it. My Dad wasn’t up to walking all the way around the harbour to indulge my yearning, so I begged them to rest a while on a bench and give me just twenty minutes to run around to west beach by myself. 


Ahhhhhhh…..the minute my my feet landed on these pebbles, all was right in my world again.


I love this little beach with its views along the Jurrassic coastline, there is something about it which grounds me and makes me feel like I’ve come home to myself.


I have so many memories going waaaay back to when I was a small Little Person visiting my grandparents in the school holidays – I used to love coming down here to search for sea glass and shells.


In a twist of yarny indecision, I couldn’t get my crochet together in time to bring with me to Dorset. I’m at the stage with my blanket where colour decisions need to be very carefully thought out and that’s best done when I can actually concentrate. So instead I picked up my little knitting project bag to bring – I do always like to have a pair of socks on the go for just such an occasion as this. I spent many hours sat in my Dad’s sunny back garden knitting round and round and round to keep my mind and heart calm. 


This latest jaunt to Dorset was a bit shorter than before (I stayed 4 nights instead of 7) and it was also much easier because Lady B was around and I wasn’t managing my Dad’s dementia difficulties all on my own. I was grateful that my brother and I were both there to celebrate the “seventy-seven” because my Dad has been fixating on his birthday and this particular number for months. 


I took the above photo out of the train window just after 5pm on the day I travelled home – I’d been on the move since 9am and suddenly recognising the familiar shape of ‘my’ hill was such a lovely thing, it made my heart happy. I was so glad to get home, to hug J and the Little People and to tumble wearily into my own bed. 

Oh my. I’ve been writing this blog post on and off for a few days now, and reading over my words just now it seems to have a bit of a sad undertone. In actual fact I did really enjoy my time there, and despite the obvious stresses and strains of the situation I came away feeling like I’d gotten a much better handle on my emotions this time. Dorset in May is far too beautiful for its own good and I’m really thrilled that I got to experience a little slice of it.








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