Today it's so bright, so it's a black-and-white post. I'm not dealing with burned out colours - it's my holiday too!
I like the way the ivy makes hands up the side of this thing.
This lady took a walk from one dangerous point on the cliff edge, along several other dangerous points, then disappeared. Not literally, I just couldn't see her any more.
We walked through something that pretty closely resembled a stone art gallery. It was huge, and we missed so much of it because it was bloody hot.
I was wrong when I said we saw Portland Henge yesterday. This is clearly Portland Henge.
Bank holiday, heat, tourists, litter.
It's another one of those scenes I was talking about.
Tabitha looks so stern on a throne. Should I be worried?
This doesn't look like a body at all.
The juxtaposition of Tabitha having a great time and the girl operating the ride looking bored out of her mind was very enjoyable for me. I could spend the rest of my life photographing people at funfairs.
Today is our last full day in Dorset. We're all exhausted and fair-skinned so this evening will be watching a film with the doors open and the curtains closed. I hope someone has enjoyed looking at these pictures - I've really enjoyed taking them and editing them into something that resembles a story every day.
I am currently holding onto hope that people will be travelling away from Brighton when we return home tomorrow. Don't ruin this for me - I need the delusion for now.
Charlotte booked me onto this Portland stone stonemasonry course. She's the crafty one in the family, not me, so I had to do a good job here otherwise she'd ridicule me forever, and she'd be right to do so.
Seeing as I don't have an artistic bone in my body, I didn't have a giant library of drawings that I could select from like some of the talented people who showed up today. One guy had a full-on sketchbook that he selected his piece from. I felt woefully inadequate. Still, I was trying to kick within my coverage here, and I feel like I did that pretty well. I set out to do my thing, and I'm happy with what I did. How delightfully average.
The carbon paper looked cool after I'd traced my design. Yep, traced. I'm that artistic.
You use this pointy fellow to do what's called "sparrow pecking". I like sparrows, and I like this effect. You basically just chip away at stone. It's super relaxing. Until you accidentally chip away too much - then you need to try and make it look intentional.
I got quite into this so I didn't take many progress photos. This is just before I started tidying everything up and getting ready to finish. The little green thing in the bottom left is a sanding block made from diamonds. Real f**king diamonds.
The finished article.
After the class, and on the advice from some locals, we visited a quarry on the coast. If I take one impression from this island it's that walking in any direction will show you something interesting.
Tabitha looked cool as hell today.
The miners would pile rejected stone, and it looks cool from above. Warning: a lot of this looks cool from above, and the photos reflect this.
There's a huge graveyard that backs onto a quarry. All the gravestones seem to be made from Portland stone. It's one of the shorter circles of life.
I believe the locals call this Portland Henge. I was wrong. Portland Henge is in here somewhere
In a terribly insufficient way, the last two photos show the gradient from the quarry to land. On the right in the penultimate photo, you can see Portland Henge, and that tracks all the way out to sea. When standing there, though, the distance seems a lot shorter. Probably something to do with Pythagoras; the crafty little bastard.
Feeling very positive about everything at the end of the day today. In terms of mood, I couldn't have gone much further south from yesterday (something about going further south and ending up in the sea). Portland feels like a very special place. It seems like the sort of place that could easily be very hostile towards outsiders, but I haven't experienced that at all. I've met and spoken to some really interesting people who are keen to show the island off. It's nice, and decidedly un-British. I also feel like if the millionaires discovered this place, it wouldn't be as worth visiting. If you're a millionaire, avoid Portland. If you have a normal amount of money, come to Portland!
Tomorrow we're going to do more walking. There's a Grand Design on what seems to be the south-west of the island that I know Charlotte would like to see, and I will always take an opportunity to look at a nice view, and send the drone up to look at it from a different angle. There's also a mop fair (for those who don't know what a mop fair is) on, so we're going to take Tabitha to that.
It's nearly time to go back to reality, and I'm not ready. What'd be ideal is if someone could pay me to go somewhere interesting and take photos, then write about the experience. Is that a real job? Probably not.
Today was kinda doomed from the start. We spent about an hour trying to agree on somewhere to have breakfast, finally agreed, ordered, and our food arrived almost inedible, so we got refunds and had to go somewhere else. By the time we got in the car, we were all in pretty horrible moods and spent the rest of the day snapping at each other.
We drove to Sandbanks, hoping to get the chain ferry to Swanage then onto Portland and our final airbnb. The traffic was absolutely horrendous, what with it being nice weather and a bank holiday, so we drove to Portland instead, via Corfe Castle.
I don't know why it seems so strange to me, to see people walking around in the bay like this, but it does. According to the boat tours guy from yesterday, it's waist-deep throughout the bay, which is super weird, given the size of some of the ferries you see.
Dogs run around in the water. It's all very strange.
Corfe Castle looks really nice, but it's basically impossible to get a photo of it from above, with the village, roads, railway and generally large number of people walking around. You get the idea, though!
Large chunks of the castle have just fallen off. It's a health-and-safety nightmare.
The view from the castle, over the hills, is very pleasant.
There's a stream on the way back that Tabitha really wanted to cross. Falling in was inevitable to all but her.
Tomorrow I'm doing a stone-masonry course, which I'm excited about. It's either going to go really well or I'm going to be utterly useless at it. I know where I'm placing my bets but I guess we'll see. Hopefully we can all get up in better moods.
Today Charlotte planned for us to go to Brownsea Island. I wasn't sold on this when she mentioned it (insert joke about there being enough brown sea at Brighton here) but she had an ace up her sleeve, didn't she? Red squirrels?! Oh, go on then.
I should mention that Charlotte is terrified of water. In fact, I did yesterday I think. Something about a garlic festival. I should probably give you some context: Charlotte loves garlic, but she hates water more. So, for those keeping score: red squirrels are better than garlic. Fortunately for her anxiety, there were two men talking about engine failure as they disembarked, and we were preparing to embark. Thanks, guys.
These look weird without containers on.
Sometimes I'll look at a scene, and something about it is just generally pleasing. I don't know what it is, but the camera and my eye conspired to do exactly what I wanted here. I'm not normally into busy scenes and I'll try to remove as much as possible. Not today, though.
We saw several people today who hadn't seen red squirrels. We saw them almost straight away, so I'm feeling pretty smug right now. They're super cute. Way better than rubbish grey squirrels. Even though they have leprosy.
Tabitha is very into the idea of climbing trees. Provided I lift her onto the lowest branch, guide her up one branch maximum, then lift her down. She would happily do this at every tree we pass.
So majestic. That posture, that colour.
Yeah thanks very much mate.
The ferry ride home is a 40 minute island cruise, which was very interesting and a lovely, relaxing end to the day. An oil company owns one of these islands, and there's a big wooden mansion on another. It'd be nice to have that sort of "fuck you" money to build a wooden house on your own island like that's a thing.
And then we arrive back at the hotel and this family of red people are just perusing leaflets by the lifts. I hope they enjoy their stay.