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Sunday, May 27, 2007

The big news on Monday was of course the news about the Cutty Sark. Not the news that it was burning, but the news that Lisa had never heard of it. I think her exact words were "What's it called? The Cutty Suck?". But it's not entirely her fault - she gave up History at school in order to battle her way to an ungraded O-Level in Home Economics. So she can't name any famous boats, but she can make a crisp sandwich if she has to.

Anyhoo, Sunday had been mostly uneventful, the highlight being a trip to the Weymouth branch of McDonalds where we had a row about vinegar, before returning home to settle down to some serious reading. The Sunday People for Lisa, a self-help book for me. I think she learnt more than I did.

But having recharged our batteries over the weekend, we set out on Monday for Dorchester (the town, not the hotel) where I managed to look around three charity shops in the time it took Lisa to get out of the Marks & Spencers changing rooms. It was worth the wait though, because she bought some very nice underwear (are you allowed to try on underwear?) which she insisted on showing me in Dorchester High Street. Fortunately she wasn't wearing it at the time.

Our greatest discovery however, was that Dorchester is home to a charity shop dedicated to Feral Cat Care. Having spent many a happy week caring for one feral cat, and two others who I wish would leave home, I bought a Jeff Banks t-shirt for £2 on the grounds that having done my bit for wild felines, I can say no to Lorraine the next time she asks me to cat-sit.

Tuesday was probably my favourite day of the week. And not just because it was the day it stopped raining. We drove along the Jurassic Coast, dodging the dinosaurs, to visit Abbotsbury Swannery. And here we are relaxing with the swans...

Get Thee to a Swannery
At first glance we could be anywhere, but trust me, there is a swan in that picture. And it's not in the tree.

Anyhoo, Abbotsbury has been home to hundreds of swans for hundreds of years, which is surprising, as they used that stretch of water to test the bouncing bomb in 1943, so it's a wonder any survived. Personally I was more interested in knowing what they taste like, after discovering that the colony only exists because the monks used to farm them for Sunday lunch. I scoured the gift shop for swan sausages, but they were right out of them.

They did however have a lot of very cute cygnets (though not in the gift shop), and the nests sit right on the pathways, meaning you can take photos like this...

... although that one did result in me getting a peck from the mother.

Eggs is EggsI'm actually amazed they have any swans at all though, because the cygnets are so appealing, and the eggs so easily stealable, that it's a miracle every passing child doesn't take one home. Lisa was certainly egging me on to nick one.

Having spent an enjoyable afternoon swanning about Abbotsbury, we headed back to Weymouth in the evening for a meal at the Excise House pub in Brewers Quay, where they were doing a 'two meals for £7.95' special. Bizarrely, the pub has its own 6-lane bowling alley, so having eaten our low-cost food, we splashed out eight quid on two frames of bowling, and another three on the electronic versions of 'Deal Or No Deal' and 'Bullseye'. I think they saw us coming.

All in all though we had a very nice time and felt we got value for money. Until discovering that the pub opposite were doing two meals for £7.45, and the one down the road 'two for £6.99'. It pays to shop around.