Dungeness | Athlete
“You’re in Dungeness on holiday?!”
So came the rather incredulous comment from one of my friends when I tagged myself on Facebook (or rather, tagged my gorgeous Knickerbocker Glory) at The Pilot Inn, Dungeness, in a rare moment of internet connection earlier in the week. My friend favours a more Mediterranean clime for her holidays, so her disbelief was understandable.
|Scrummy cod, chips 'n' peas|
|Even scrummier Knickerbocker Glory|
“I love it here!” was my response. And 'tis true: I love the bleakness of the marshes in Romney, the proximity (and then lack of proximity) of the sea; the tacky shops, the pubs, the mud banks, Derek Jarman’s ‘Prospect Cottage’ with its once-whimsical garden…
the lighthouses, and the smell of the steam from the miniature
Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch
Railway. The unpredictability of the weather (I got sunburned on Monday, quite
badly – good result despite the threat of melanoma…).
|Early-morning sun on the sea|
Oh and let’s not forget the power station.
My parents brought us to Littlestone when we were children; we rented a bungalow on the coast road for a week or two in the mid-1980s and my mother holidayed here in the 1950s.
I have a photo (somewhere in the QB annals) taken from the top of the Old Lighthouse of our car at the time, and my mum waving up at us; photos of us riding the donkeys, reclining in the sand dunes, splashing about on dinghies, schlepping through the mud, crouching in a hut in the Philippine Village. We have collective memories of walking through teeming rain to the arcades. Good, good times!
I do like a hot, sunny holiday (and for that I’m off to
in a couple of weeks) but there’s something to be said for a good old-fashioned
British break especially on the coast. I’m definitely happier by the sea, and
I’ve come to love the British tackiness of it all.
We hired a house in Lydd from the parents of one of my workmates; situated right on the marshes, within good walking distance of the beach (though it took us another good twenty-five minutes to find the sea on Sunday morning at low-tide…). We were forty-five minutes’ walk from the lighthouses, and the aforementioned power station. And never far from a pub or a Spar.
And we even had a swim. Yes, a swim. In the British sea in September. Climate change is no myth, people. (That said, it was freezing in places. FREEZING.)
|The old lighthouse|
|Narrow Gauge tracks of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway|
|Here comes the train!|
|Fifth Quarter "Mystcal" Gift Shop on the marshes...|
|The new lighthouse (not actually on the wonk in real life)|
|Requisite bleakness. <3|
|The sound Mirrors, built in the 1930s to detect the sound of enemy aircraft...|
|Carole Ann, the boat of my photographic fantasies.|
|That mint-green. Love.|