Thursday, 7 April 2011

Microcosm Macrocosm

HMP Portland

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.


  1. The coast is a magical place no matter where or what you find there. Your photos are beautiful.
    Hope your haircut is!!

  2. I adore stones and bones. Lovely shot of HI. Be sure to take before shots of the hair.

  3. Did you roll your trousers up and have a paddle? HMP Portland looks really GRIM; but I suppose that's how prison should be.

  4. I might take pictures of my hair... then again, I might not...

    'stones and Bones' sounds like a highly commercial graveyard, Tess.

    I didn't paddle Cro, but a few people did. Re the prison, see the next post on HMS Ark Royal!

  5. H.I. looks beautiful as always. What did you say back to him?

  6. If this is H.I. in the photo then you should definitely put her next to you when you drive around in that convertible with your dyed hair that you had been talking about. She will turn some heads, so don't waste your time on inviting a young (and possibly dumb) blonde for a drive!

  7. I used a bit of 'Irish Repartee' on him, Mice.

    Yes, she would certainly turn some heads when the wind blows her wig off, Iris.

    Talking of hair, I've had a hair-cut now (I've been cutting my own hair - on and off - for about 45 years now), so next time I bump into that bloke, he might mistake me for an elderly patient out on day release with my care-worker.