Typical of my luck, following the hottest week of the year, we go on our annual Fossil hunting Dorset holiday in what may well have been the coldest week that the month of May has ever experienced. Unfortunately I didn’t bank on this, so we had a lot of shorts and summery dresses and 3 pairs of jeans for all of us. Luckily, we all had a jumper and 2 spares each, this was lucky as we all needed to wear them all at the same time most days.
Still weather is no barrier for the keen naturalist/ palaeontologist and like Mary Anning before her, Fifi was keen to collect as many stones (ahem) fossils as her little arms would allow. A keen user of my well worn archaeology trowel she had a lot of fun digging holes in which to fall in. The best stones were always just that little bit too far in front of her and down the slope she was standing on. Unfortunately, one particular stone was just a stretch too far and she plummeted head first down hill, her cheek against a large rock stopping the progression into the sea. This hasn’t been good for the photographs, one cheek badly bruised and a lasting reminder of the one moment that I didn’t hold onto her for dear life.
Toddler boy discovered a love of climbing up cliffs, throwing stones (the bigger the better) and can now spot a fossil (which he can pronounce) a mile off. He spent most of the time talking to his dad and his uncle and other little boys in a special language that only men understand. Although ‘me want lollipop, me want lollipop’ repeated several million times was discernible. He also showed a special skill for kite flying. Years of failed attempts have left me and the hubby incapable of even lifting it off the ground, but the little fella managed to fly the kite for some considerable time. Despite our best efforts to thwart him.
One of the benefits of taking a trip to Lyme Regis this time of year is the Fossil Festival. This is when the Natural History Museum, Cardiff Museum and various other wildlife organisations descend on the town and provide lots of free educational kids activities. I found a great deal of inspiration for my forthcoming ‘Geology Day’ at work, but more importantly it was a good opportunity to begin to inspire and introduce Toddler boy to the wonders of fossil hunting. The town seemed to come alive with weird and wonderful personable characters, all of whom were so enthusiastic about their subject matter that you couldn’t fail to feel a little bit of enthusiasm.
The Donkey Sanctuary provided a little bit of shelter from the wind blown beaches and Fifi couldn’t help but point at every Donkey telling me ‘cat’ which appears to be her name for every single animal. It’s a beautiful place in a wonderful location, I can’t help but think of how lucky the donkeys are to live there. However, their peace and tranquility was shattered by Toddler boy and Fifi who decided that it would be fun to run around their yard, playing tag and shouting ‘robot’. As a parent, one does not always feel empowered to do something in such circumstances. Donkeys fled one way, parents the other, toddlers the other. I imagine this happens on a regular basis.
Despite the total lack of sleep that both myself and the hubby managed thanks to our daughter, we had a nice break, we collected lots of fossils, enjoyed the elements and ate a lot of chips. It’s hard to go wrong with a holiday in the UK.