We’re back from our break in Dorset. The trip we were going to take last September, before our flat became infested with fleas, and we had to stay and tackle them. But the delay made the trip all the sweeter. The weather was changeable, but the views were stunning, the food was good (especially at By The Bay in Lyme Regis) and the people were friendly. We went to quirky local museums, where I unearthed all manner of arcane nuggets.
I also went on a Ghost Walk. It was held in the town where we were staying, seven o’clock on Thursday nights. I was in two minds about going. Would the guide be a nutcase? The rest of the walkers? Supposing only I turned up- would I have to spend two hours alone with some bloke shouting at me?
The trip was meant to start on the porch of a pub. I sat across the road, waiting to see if anybody else turned up. Four people plus a Westland Terrier congregated, so I went over and joined them. The guide walked up in a black hat and cloak, wielding a stick with a silver head. We put our money in the hat, and we were off.
I’m glad I took the trip now. As the sun set, the town took on a more sinister atmosphere, as he pointed out the site of a gallows here, a pond where someone drowned there. Sightings of spectral monks, grey ladies- all the usual suspects except Anne Boleyn. Finally, he led us to a deserted churchyard and recited a suitably gothic poem, before we sauntered away again, somewhat pale and nervous.
I didn’t write for the whole trip. I was with my wife nearly the whole time, and I could not get away by myself to jot anything down. So I’m still trying to catch up. But I feel like I’ve recharged my batteries. I’ve got my horror stage play on the go, one or two ideas have come to me. Sometimes you have to lie fallow.