And… We survived another night… our final night to be exact!
And when we opened our eyes that morning, it was really sunny… frustratingly so! But, a lot can be said for some sunshine on such little time.
I woke up first and again looked upon my sleeping cherubs. They are so peaceful when they’re sleeping and so very beautiful…well, always really!
Not long after we woke up, all kinds of chaos was going on. With an exit time of 10am (otherwise known as ‘Early O’Clock’), we got ourselves ready and started throwing things in to the back of the car. Once again the beast was rammed of way too many things, although I have to say…not everything made it back home. R.I.P to our gazebo and tents. As much as they homed us in the storms and did an okay job (not the gazebo, that was totally rubbish)…they were incredibly battered by the end of it and honestly, they were NEVER going to see another camping trip again.
With 10am fast approaching, my sister checked our booking sheet to find that we were in fact running two hours early and didn’t really need to leave until 12pm… Nice One! Thankfully looks can’t kill and laughter fixes most things. On the bright side, we were ready, up and early to spend some more quality time with the family before we embarked on our looooong drive home.
So we said our ‘Be Back Soon’s’ to Longthorns Farm, the horse who eats elbows, the alpacas and the honesty shop… and made our way to my sisters lovely, big house again for yet more brews and to start…or attempt to start our goodbyes.
That didn’t last long until we thought ‘Sod it!’ and we made our way to Lulworth Cove instead, with my Nephew, Zack in tow.
It didn’t feel right to give kisses goodbye just yet. Our camping trip was drawing to an end too soon and a void was growing in the pit of my stomach. I’m lucky to live in the same town as the majority of my family and for that reason, it will never feel okay that some are missing and I can’t pop to their house to borrow a DVD, raid the biggest sisters wardrobe, tell her happy news to her face and let her supply me with wine, hugs and advice when I feel lost. I know that I miss something that I have never had. But, I miss it all the same… and I didn’t want to leave her there and drive away.
Anyway… Lulworth Cove!
Lulworth Cove was kind of magnificent.
As we drove along the country roads, I was expecting a pretty, little bay where we could collect seashells (which we would later paint and put in mason jars!). As we came to the end of the windy country lanes and the road opened up to our destination… my jaw dropped and I felt a little in awe of this place. Actually, I felt just ‘little’ really! We parked our cars in a field that was overlooked by cliff tops and when I say it was breathtaking… I feel upset with myself that I can’t find a better word. The people walking to the top were tiny like ants and they followed each other in perfect formation. They were so high up, it was like looking at another world.
Lulworth Cove is incredibly quaint and pretty. There were lots of places to buy ice-creams and buckets and spades. There were idyllic little gardens along the way, lots of foliage and plenty of cute little windmills that caught my eye as well as the breeze.
I felt like I should be walking around barefoot, playing the banjo and singing songs to the passers by. I have always wished that I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair. Maybe I belong there?!
As we all walked the paths together and the sunshine hit our faces, the salty sea air washed over us and we knew that we were close to something special. We could hear the water hit the shore. There was a calmness in the air and I suddenly realised that nobody was saying a single word to each other. I couldn’t remember the last time I heard ‘Voice’. I think we were all enjoying the peace…the silence… this new place that had welcomed us with open arms.
The word ‘beach’ doesn’t fit the rugged shores of Lulworth Cove. It felt like the immense, white hills and cliffs with their blankets of green, were protecting a precious secret. I don’t want to describe it as the same paradise as you probably would the picturesque beaches of The Caribbean. It would be an unnecessary comparison. It is up on a pedestal for every reason that The Caribbean isn’t. It is jagged and rough, untouched and un maintained but completely beautiful all the same and truly unique.
We walked along, looking for a place to stop and breathe. We practically climbed over the edges of rock and pebbles…and the wind blew us. we dispersed from each other. Some of us sat, closed our eyes and allowed the world to carry on elsewhere…without us for a while.
The men amongst us threw stones… obviously! They had a pretty smashing time too.
I shimmied around, taking photographs of some of my nearest and dearest in such a stunning setting…making sure to document our beautiful memories.
And every now and again, I would make sure that I was in some of them, ensuring that I too would be a part of this day.
It’s a rarity to get a photograph of this young man with a smile on his face. Okay, so we may have had to tickle one out of him but it’s so nice to see anyway. And that is what Auntie’s are for, right? Even though we are all looking a little dishevelled…this perfectly imperfect picture is going in a frame. I adore it.
The children explored and did what little children do best…got extremely muddy and soggy. They wore smiles on their faces and danced with freedom. They don’t need much, children. Other than your time and love… pop them on a beach to roam and exercise their imaginations and they still wouldn’t want to leave at the end of the day.
This just felt like such a happy day and one I think that we will all remember for a long, long time.
Alas, our time in lovely Dorset had come to an end. We took a slow walk back to the car, making sure we absorbed everything that we could from this trip. I know that I stole a few glances at my Nephew, hoping to myself that he wouldn’t grow anymore and feeling proud of the person that he has become. Cheering him on in his life decisions and feeling excited for all of the adventures ahead of him. Knowing that it will be hard to leave because I will always wish that I didn’t have to. My little (actually not so little anymore) Zacky… I hope over the next bunch of years, we get to have more days like that one.
We drove Zack home to do the goodbye thing. The egg in my throat. The tears hiding behind my eyes. The hard bit. I bloody hate goodbyes.
When we got there, I sat on the front lawn with my niece, discussing her plans. I watched her talk about her dreams and I watched her smile and I saw the girl under the fabulous, crazy hair and bold lipstick. That girls doesn’t know how beautiful she is. She will. And when she does… she may even conquer the world. I’m excited to see her dreams unfold.
I suggested that maybe we shove the biggest sister in the boot of the car and take her back home… I was only half joking!
A point came I think, that it was now or never so we did the hugging thing and the goodbye kisses and it was hard and it hurt a bit.
And…then we hit the road.
And somewhere between Dorset and home, I realised… we didn’t collect a single shell (that we would later paint and put in mason jars!)