For those of you that have landed here without reading the first half of the 2014 moot please click here.
We returned back to Berwick Manor late afternoon as the sun went down. The kitchen was out of bounds as Adam and Lucy and Steve and Zoe prepared not only the evening meal but the decorations necessary for the Hollywood Party so we herded the kids in the TV room to keep them out of the way.
Ezra was so tired after his earlier excursions that we put him to bed before dinner and therefore he didn’t join in with the fancy dress but everyone else took the evening to heart including little Letty (a papoose from Dances with Wolves). You would think that with a subject as wide as Hollywood that there would be a variety of different costumes and indeed there was but great minds seldom differ and we did have a couple of duplicates: John and Steve both came as chimney sweeps à la Bert from Mary Poppins, and Lucinda and Lucy both came as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.
As usual Adam and Lucy and Steve and Zoe worked hard to decorate the kitchen to help everyone get in the spirit of the party. There was a red carpet down the hall to the kitchen, a Hollywood style Walk of Fame and a gold curtain to stand against for the paparazzi photos. There were even three mini Oscars that were awarded to the best male costume, best female costume and best child costume as voted via secret ballot. Lauren won the Oscar for the best child costume as Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series, replete with a hand-crafted spell book with every spell from the series; Zoe won the best female costume with her Mary Poppins outfit and I won the best male costume as Animal (from The Muppets). I felt a little bit of a cheat as mine was completely bought with no extra effort required, however I was very pleased with the outfit and was delighted with the win. You can see everyone’s photos below so feel free to make your own decision and whether you would agree with the Badger clan voting.
Tuesday was the Bagnall turn to cook, therefore we did not venture too far from Berwick Manor. We drove to the nearby town of Abbotsbury to have a mooch but primarily to buy a Christmas decoration that we had seen the previous day when we drove through on the way to Portland. A very simple idea, but it caught our eye, an enterprising local had made snowmen from three different sized cross-sections of logs. It will sit nicely in our porch for the yuletide, greeting our Christmas visitors. I promise to take a photo when it is in situ and post it on here but in the meantime here is a photo of Amélie choosing it.
We also took the opportunity to go for a cream tea. We had passed the Eggcup tearoom on the Jurassic Coast road many times over the last decade but had never gone it for a scone but this year we rectified that omission. Situated in Swyre directly off the Jurassic Coast road about halfway between Abbostbury and Berwick Manor it seemed rude to past it by. The scones were big and delicious the only disappointment being that there was no view of the sea (they are situated on the wrong side of the road for that). We bought the girls a slice of Victoria sponge to go with their drinks but for some reason neither of them like it, therefore Daddy had a Victoria sponge chaser to go with his fruit scone and jam! I would quite happily recommend a pit stop there if you are on the B3157.
A year does not go past without a trip to Lyme Regis and so it was this year. Lyme Regis is probably one of our favourite places in the world and if we are in the area we will visit. So although Wednesday morning saw the first downpour of the week the inclement weather did not stop the Bagnalls from going to the seaside. Our faith was repaid for although it rained heavily during the journey as we arrived the rain stopped and even if the clouds sat on the surrounding hills and it wasn’t until the afternoon that the sun came out we still headed straight to the beach to build sandcastles and collect seaweed for decoration.
The good thing about the weather being a overcast is that you pretty much get the beach to yourself. The day before, a number of the family went to Lyme Regis but because the weather was so good everyone in the area had the same idea and so the car parks were full. Indeed some of the family had to find an alternative, as there was simply no where for them to park.
We did not have any such problem and managed to park exactly where we went wanted. After a couple of hours building sandcastles and paddling (in wellies) in the sea we headed for lunch. A little café near the beach is a particular favourite and being creatures of habit we found ourselves there. Their lunchtime special caught both Lucinda’s and my eye: fish finger sandwiches. As we sat waiting for our lunch, Éowyn mooched around the shell and fossil shop next door. The girls profited well from their visit to Portland, not only did Auntie Margaret buy both girls colouring books and pens and made them cupcakes she also gave them some money to spend on ice-creams. Éowyn is a little savvy when it comes to money and knows that Daddy will buy her ice-cream so she asked if she could buy some shells. I tried to dissuade her by saying that there were lots of other shops if she would like to compare prices. She thought about this and decided that as long as she could return to this shop if she didn’t see anything else then she would want to return. An agreement was reached.
We took our usual wander around Lyme Regis and it was little Ezra who spent his money first. Éowyn and Amélie spent their money from Daddy on their first day of the holiday. Ezra didn’t. He didn’t seem interested in anything on that first day and to be honest, when you are trying to help a 6 year old and a 4 year old choose their toys it was too tiring (especially after a disturbed night’s sleep) to try and encourage him to choose something. Perhaps he was just binding his time for as we passed a shop in Lyme Regis there were some knitted dinosaurs and he grabbed one. So we picked the three types of dinosaur that they had: A green tyrannosaurus rex, a blue stegosaurus and a red triceratops and asks him to choose. The red triceratops came out as favourite (my favourite dinosaur was the triceratops when I was a boy, too!). So Ezra had now spent his money it spurred the girls to spend the money off Auntie Margaret. The other shops did not have anything of interest so we popped back to the first shop and they bought their shells, to go with their mermaids before heading back to bass.
Thursday morning saw the Bagnalls visit another sandy beach and another one of our favourite haunts in the shape of Weymouth. With the weather warming up after the rain of the previous day (and heading for the warmest Halloween on record – in the UK) it seemed a shame not to spend the last full day of our holiday on the beach. Weymouth is one of the largest towns in Dorset and is a popular tourist venue in no small part due to its beach, low tide and warm(ish) sea. So we parked the car and headed directly to the beach and that was where we stayed for most of the day. Fish and chips on the beach added to the idiosyncratic Britishness of the day, especially when you consider that it was the end of October and we were wearing coats and wellies.
The last day of the moot coincided with Halloween and what a Halloween – the thermometer in my car registered 23°C on the drive home and as mentioned above it was indeed the hottest UK Halloween on record. We had to vacate the house and conscious about trying to miss the rush hour traffic around home we decided that a quick pit stop at Hive Beach and another drive along the Jurassic Coast road would be the last of our Dorset views for 2o14. Hive Beach had a disturbing, if somewhat fascinating sight: the decomposing body of a baby dolphin. It looked like it had been dead a while and had lost its head but Éowyn and I were fascinated – Lucinda and Amélie on the other hand were disgusted. There are photos on my Flickr pages here, if you are at all interested.
We made it back late afternoon in time to answer the door to all the trick or treaters. But you will have to wait until the next write up to see the photo of our Pumpkin carving.
Peace and Love
PS The photos below are of our family movie night party (feel free to judge the costumes yourself and see if you agree with the family). If you want to see more general photos of the holiday please see: Badger Moot 2014 – Part One.