The one thing that struck me more than any other on my little Jurassic shopping trip from which I returned today is how, when standing on a beach by the sea, the bigness and littleness of things are never so closely juxtaposed in such a way that you can almost observe them simultaneously - though not always using your eyes alone.
All I did was go to the South Dorset coast to buy some fossil-rich stone, but this stretch of land and water has been yielding evidence of it's tropical past for more than the 190 million years that it has taken for it to shift quietly and violently up into the northern hemisphere where it now forms a safe buffer between the Home Counties and the wild and rugged Cornish Coast - just to break you in gently.
I bought the stone - a pudding mix of nautilus and bi-valves (photos later) - then sat back to admire the landscape from which Sir Christopher Wren (born 40 miles up the road from here) contrived to rebuild a fire-proof London after 1666, and made his fortune in the process.
Sitting in the garden of the pub hotel this morning, Her Indoors and I watched as two sleek, fast and black SBS boats tore out of Poole Harbour at about 60 knots, dodging the slower traffic, on their way to who knows where and what. I counted 2 out, but I only counted 1 back. I think I can tell you that without endangering National Security.
I once had a one-ton piece of Jurassic, fossilised tree from this stretch of the coast complete with roots, but I sold it to a man who has his own villa on Corfu. I still have a two-foot diameter section from it in the house - maybe I'll include a picture in the next post.
In the pub last night, a middle-aged man caught my eye and said: "You look like a local character!"
I must get a hair-cut.