‘DORSET Home to the JURASSIC COAST‘. That’s what the sign said on the Somerset border, and it set me wondering. Not about Dorset’s pride in a pretty impressive, sixty-five mile stretch of coast older than Joan Collins’ plastic surgeon. Even the UN thinks the Jurassic Coast is special. There again, the UN also thinks Angelina Jolie and Ginger Spice are also special, so perhaps not such a great endorsement after all. No, it’s just that I’d never thought of a cliff face – one that’s forever crumbling around the Charmouth – having a home. Being one, no problem. Gulls, fossils, plants and briefly, the occasional unhappy or unlucky human. Also a temporary abode for numerous cute little dogs and confused-looking sheep. Cliffs – if only they could talk:
‘Might be a fossil to you, mate, but I knew that ammonite when it was a kid‘.
‘Sometimes I feel life’s just slipping away.’
‘Not another bloody dog.’
But if South Dorset’s home, does the Jurassic Coast ever leave it? Did the Alps come round to play when it was young? Were there birthday parties with glaciers doing the entertainment? Come to think of it, what with all those different strata, the Coast’s more like a family, which means an altogether more interesting sign: DORSET THE JURASSIC COAST FAMILY HOME. CLOSED SUNDAYS.
Even a coast needs a day off.