Last week saw me join other members of my family for a short holiday in south east Dorset, the home of a brother and his wife. This really was a postponement from the Christmas get together - because of the icy conditions leading up to the day last December we didn't risk the travel at that time although if I remember correctly it was more amenable from about Boxing Day onwards. At the risk of sounding a miserable old so and so I just don't find it the most important thing in my life to go off somewhere to celebrate Christmas anyway. As for the "New Year" forget it!
However I'm sensitive enough to understand how difficult it is for many people to get through the Christmas period alone if they have been recently widowed or divorced for example. In my case although living alone I don't feel lonely. I'm going a bit off topic here, suffice to say that I was very pleased to meet up with other family members the other day.
Although I might have driven to Dorset I decided to let "the train take the strain". I don't habitually use the train on longer journeys because it is rare for me to leave my two beloved counties. It's a very civilised way to travel in my opinion bearing in mind that it isn't door to door, in this instance one of my hosts met me and another train carrying brother at Salisbury to transport us for the final leg to our destination.
With two whole days together I would always have just settled for one of these being dry and so it happened. This enabled us to enjoy a nine mile or so walk in incredibly quiet countryside. When away from the coastal conurbations Dorset is very rural indeed and, as evidenced by our walk, the county has its fair share of hills.
The journey home was a variation of the theme in that I went from Salisbury to Westbury and then got the train that runs from Paddington to Plymouth. The portion of the line from Salisbury to Westbury goes through pleasant but very undistinguished scenery and reminded me just why my passion is for Devon and Cornwall rather than "Middle England"! But that is Wiltshire whereas what I've seen so far of Dorset has been very pleasing.
Would I like to live in Dorset out of choice? Well it's nice to visit that's for sure but no I wouldn't choose to live there. Fortunately it's just right for this brother and wife but for me the Tamar Valley will do just fine!