Let’s Catch Up: Dorset

Seeing as I’ve been terrible at filling you in on the adventures I’ve been going on (and giving as excuses for my lack of online presence), I’m beginning a new mini-series called Let’s Catch Up. Any post you see with ‘Let’s Catch Up’ in the title – well, from now on assume that any ‘Let’s Catch Up’ post will be about something I did weeks beforehand.

I’m shit, I know. But anyway, I digress.

*****

Following the passing of my lovely Dad at the end of last year, my Mum decided it would be a nice idea to go on a family holiday to ‘get away’ from the confines of our house and hometown. It made sense – Dad is everywhere in the furniture and his belongings, and we’re surrounded by supportive friends and family who are always happy to help. It’s lovely, but I wouldn’t say the idea of a holiday wasn’t a good one.

So. Now we could travel – Eurostar? Ferry? A plane? For the first time (in my lifetime, at least) we could enjoy a family holiday somewhere hot, if we wanted to. The world was our oyster.

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…we ended up in Dorset, specifically in pursuit of the famous monkey sanctuary Monkey World. Mum and Dad had spent a lot of nights on the sofa watching telly together in his last few years, as it’s something they could enjoy together, and Monkey Life (a docu-series following the lives of the apes and their carers at Monkey World) was one of their favourites.

A lovely sentiment, actually. We had a really nice relaxing weekend.

First things first, our accomodation for the weekend. We stayed in a great B&B called Fingle Bridge, in the village of Wool – its owners Liz and Colin were so thoughtful and chatty, cooked an amazing Full English every morning and their house is beautiful! Our room was stocked with everything we could’ve possibly needed and the beds were so comfy. So that was nice.

After a hectic drive down on Friday night – my personal highlight of which include the sat nav taking us through the stupidly windy streets in the centre of Bath, which we later discovered were completely unnecessary as we came home via the motorway – we decided to visit Monkey World on the Saturday, and venture into Lulworth on the Sunday before driving home.

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This cheeky chimp is Rodders – the star of the show! He loved showing us his blanket and red bucket.

So, Saturday. Monkey World is such a delight. There are so many different species of ape – most of which I had never heard of before – all with their own unique names and personalities. We only attended the Chimpanzee talk of all the talks on, but you could tell that the staff really do love their jobs and care about the monkeys. There’s also a lemur enclosure on sight which pleased me GREATLY (love a lemur, I do) and we got to hear them laughing at each other! They laughed. Every time I mimic this laugh to my Mum she cracks up.

I learned a lot too. Did you know the ape most likely to rule the world is the Orangutan, according to a keeper we got chatting to, because they’ve got Sherlock-like observation skills? One managed to pick a lock with a piece of metal which he kept hidden in his cheek away from his keepers! Houdini, move over.*

Saturday night was a bog standard affair of eating Indian takeaway and watching Britain’s Got Talent in the B&B. Standard, really.

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The castle was full of memorabilia, despite having been engulfed in a fire early last century. This was the servent’s kitchen, down in the basement – I love noseying around this sort of thing.

On Sunday morning we headed first to Lulworth Castle, where we explored the grounds and got up to the roof to see the beautiful Dorset countryside. So many rolling fields and blue skies for miles! A short walk from the castle we found a church in which we lit a candle for Dad, which was nice too.

Just before leaving Dorset we managed to squeeze in lunch and a wander round Lulworth Cove, where we walked up the cliffs and could see the island of Portland from the top. My enthusiastic ‘like Portland Bill!’s were not met with nearly enough excitement. We bought some clotted cream fudge and salted caramel, as is customary from any British seaside holiday, and were on our way.

All in all, a ‘first’ ticked off our list that wasn’t so traumatic. I’ve got more little trips and events to update you on – I’ve been a bit of a busy bee – so I hope you’ve enjoyed the first of many!

Until next time,

Emma x

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