On Good Friday, David P (our driver), Valerie and I dumped the kit at Jackie's and headed straight for Handfast Point and Old Harry rocks. I worked against the light for the first one, looking towards Swanage and then had a less successful attempt at Old Harry with the tide out. The others plunged straight in with Old Harry, which was probably a better decision.
Handfast Point Against The Light
David Pilgrim at Handfast Point - note the use of the umbrella for shade, again
The next day I led us on a fruitless trip round Holes Bay and Poole, until we decided to cut loose and head for the car park above Durdle Door. Just as expensive as Lulworth but a much shorter walk. Two paintings later we decided that this would be a great location for Easter Day, so headed back there on the Sunday with David Bachmann who had arrived from Seville on the Saturday.
We blitzed the place on Sunday, each doing 5 paintings. The crowds were amazing. I had not realised that this part of my beloved County had become so popular.
Easter Monday was a washout but we each struggled with an oil sketch of Lyme harbour. I felt like throwing mine in the sea afterwards: the others fared much better. We headed back to a big log fire and Richard Pikesley and Ken Howard on DVD in the afternoon.
At this point the others were probably becoming bemused by the possibility that I might be related to half the county. I still have loads of relatives in Dorset. Dairy farmers and dairymen moved round inside the county but not generally outside it, inter-marrying all the time, so that by my generation we were connected to dozens of Dorset farming folk. A few escaped to the New World: I still get e-mails from Deb Palmer-Redfern in Kentucky, with whom I share a GGGGG Grandfather. There are no lords and ladies in any of my lines: I am a true paysan!
On Monday night, whilst packing, Mr Pilgrim and Mlle Pirlot made the brave decision that we should head off very early in the morning, not home but for Old Harry because the weather would be fine until lunchtime. What a brilliant choice. The 4 of us did two paintings each of the brilliantly lit stacks with chalky water swirling beneath them before rain threatened.
Old Harry, Tuesday Morning
Old Harry, Noon on Tuesday
We dashed back and just got Valerie onto her train from Salisbury. David, who had driven at least 500 miles already, then took me home.