Lyme RegisMay 30, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C
Someone needs to inform the English that 65 degrees Fahrenheit is not beach weather.
Listen, I love going to the beach in Michigan. I’ve probably been there when it is too cold to really be considered beach weather. But mid-sixties, overcast and windy is the time to be putting clothes on, not taking them off. To add to the insanity, people were coming up from the beach to get ice cream. Mid-sixties, overcast, windy and naked is certainly not the time for ice cream.
Beyond the less than lucid behavior, Lyme Regis feels just about like any other beach town. There are families hanging out in and next to the water. There are shops up on the street selling food and souvenirs. There are tables covered by umbrellas where people can sit and eat or enjoy a cup of tea.
And there are seagulls.
Now I am no stranger to aggressive seagulls. I once witnessed a flock in Port Aransas swarm my friend and chase her down the beach just because they thought she had food (she didn’t) and, while it was honestly hilarious the rest of us, it was fairly traumatizing for her. The gulls in Lyme Regis rival those in Port Aransas. While we were sitting outside a café having a cup of tea, a gull swooped down and snatched a whole sandwich off of a plate just as a waitress was trying to set it on a table.
After tea, Marina and Bernard went to visit a couple of shops and Will and I went for a walk around the seawall. Again, it felt very similar to the breakwater in Menominee, with a few important exceptions. First, this wall is on a larger body of water, meaning that the waves are rougher and throw more spray onto the top of the seawall. Second, rather than being made of concrete like the sea wall in Menominee, this wall is made of smooth stones. Third, likely as effort to prevent water from pooling on top of the wall or falling onto those walking beneath it on the inside, the walking surface is slanted outward. Toward the sea. So what we have here is a smooth, wet surface, slanted outward, trying very hard to dump you into the English Channel. It seems to me like an inevitability that someone, at some point, will fall in. The people of Menominee have prepared for just such an event by placing ladders on the outside of the breakwater so that anyone unlucky enough to fall in will be able to quickly climb back out. The good people of Lyme Regis are apparently huge proponents of natural selection, as they have placed NO ladders anywhere along the outer edge of the seawall. If you’re stupid enough to fall in, you’d better be strong enough to swim back. Otherwise, there are no desirable traits in your genetics and they would rather not have you in the gene pool, it seems.
After surviving our harrowing walk around the sea wall, we returned to the shops and met back up with Marina and Bernard, only to say goodbye to them before they left for the inn. Will and I picked up some fish and chips and walked down the street (away from the seagulls) towards the cliffs where people look for fossils. The plan was to do some exploring on the beach before heading back to our hotel.
Did you know that oceans have tides? William and I apparently forgot about them, as evidenced by the fact that we waited until the tide had started coming in to walk along to way down to the stairs leading to the beach. By the time we got there, there was water over the base of the stairs, meaning that the only “dry” path to the beach was hopping from rock to rock past the incoming tide. After several minutes of deliberation, Will decided to go for it. I, having bad luck, poor coordination, and an expensive camera, opted to stay on the stairs. A benefit to this decision was that I had the perfect vantage point to watch my strong, manly boyfriend stare at and then smash rocks on the beach, surrounded by many toddlers doing the same.
When he had stared and smashed to his heart’s content, he hopped back across the rocks to the stairs, unfortunately without any fossils to show for his hard work. We walked back along the waterfront to the car, and headed off to the inn.Read more