One thing I've been missing since becoming a momma is my own little jaunts. Random rambles, unnecessary public transport, unexpected meetings and revealing shortcuts. It's just not that easy with a baby, and time away from the sprog is at the best both difficult and guilt inducing.
Anyway, the sprog is older and more flexible about how he spends his time, so we took a camping trip to Charmouth. I used to holiday there when I was a kid, and again while I was at uni, so toddling down the M5 to the strains of Thin White Rope was pleasantly nostalgic. We were comfortably stuffed with Chicitos lunch (the child preferred Vegetable Fajitas to chios - whodathunkit?) so sprog fell asleep pretty much after the Avonmouth Bridge, and I meandered happily down and off on the A358.
There was a teeny bit of a tits-up at this point - recently I've visited East Dorset rather a lot, so automatically started for Weymouth on the A37 as soon as I had an option, which meant I was too far north and slightly too east by the time my innate sense of direction kicked in. And I was tempted to just go straight on to the normal campsite, but instead I stuck some Spirit on the CD player (love that album at the moment) and started cross-country along teeny-tiny meandering lanes, just following my nose.
And I'm glad I did. I saw some beautiful tiny little villages with golden dorset stone cottages, and remembered how much I liked Crewkerne. I also nearly ran over some lamas (or maybe alpacas) that were being grazed on the verge, nodded to a lot of random motorists coming the other way across narrow bridges, and saw some fab gardens. Even the dark fog didn't dampen my spirits and I found my way from the wrong place to the right place via tiny lanes without looking at the map.
After refuelling and doing tyre pressures at Bridport(*), child woke up and we got to the site in about 15 minutes, pitched tents, ate beans and played in the park. Or rather, sprog played in the park while I sat on a bench and drank beer. And this was ok, as it was posh beer in a Caravan and Camping Club site, which pretty much let you get away with anything once you've paid membership. I offer the huge percentage of "strictly adult sites" in their brochure as evidence ;) Actually, I did play a bit, as the sprog thought my throwing a slightly flat pink football through a netball hoop was absolutelyfeckinhilarious.
We watched bats (AND A FROG), had a shower and fell asleep under the same duvet. And the next morning we woke up to rain, which was not forecast and sucked a great deal. I got us both dressed and started breakfast, then a lovely posh lady took pity on us and invited us into her static caravan for breakfast. I nearly refused out of politeness, but I had forgotten the coffee...
Anyway, she made me really nice coffee - two cups - and egg on toast. I might well send her a thank you card. She was also a bit scary in that she hated her husband and daughter-in-law and mostly openly bitched about them, and seemed to want to adopt me and Sprog instead. She was nice overall, though, and I do like just meeting random folk and chatting.
And then it had stopped raining so we packed up and went to Lyme Regis, which was chilly. Doing these things is always a bit disappointing - you expect the sprog to scamper excitedly on the beach, throwing stones and paddling. And the reality is that they whinge for ice-cream and rides on the Bob-the-sodding-builder digger that they could play on in Morrisons. But it was still fun, and he was knackered enough to sleep all the way home. And the drive home was sunny, non-circuitous, and fuelled with Purdeys and Scampi Fries.
(*) I wish mechanics would stop misreading the tyre pressure in the manual. I know they look up the correct version of my car in the table and read 2,6. Then I'm pretty sure they inflate it to 26 PSI thinking that 2,6 is just a "funny French way" of writing 26 PSI. But it's not - that's the Euro-pressure, and there's a conversion table right underneath that says 2,6 = 38 PSI. And that converted tyre pressure has the added advantage of not leaving the tyres looking all soft and bulgy :P