The train heaves on past the tiny stations with their mysterious names – Moreton, Wool, Upwey, Dorchester South. The gap between each an age – lengthened by the desperate need to arrive? Or literally too, as the train always ends up running late, its stale air stretching out languorously, punctuated by whiffs of cheese and onion crisps or the sour tang from an empty can.
Finally you arrive and then it’s a dash through winding country lanes in an impassioned desire to see the sea before night falls.
The waves lap gently on the pebbly stretch or crash angrily, stones pelting through the air with every surge. Everywhere there is salt, which permeates your sense of self and energises. The cliffs stand tall, honeycombed yellow at their best, a muddy faded mustard when the rain lashes. Jutting out over the beach, precarious and unpredictable. Entrenched in salt and history. Even the wild pink flowers have lost their scent, overwhelmed by the majestic sea. Grey, blue, turquoise, green – the smell is the constant – rendering one with a sense of insignificance, and somehow, serenity.