The Phoenix Time #38


‘Do you think that you and Frank will ever get back together, Charlie?

‘Who knows? I’ve been enjoying this holiday so much that I’m coming to like my independence. I’m not even sure that I want him back.’

‘Wow’ Carrie said, ‘That seems like a major attitude shift since Monday night.’

‘I’ve learned that I can manage on my own – and I’ll never regret that it’s enabled me to meet you. I’ve so enjoyed the time we’ve spent together.’

Carrie touched Charlotte’s hand on the steering wheel.

‘Listen, before today’s out we must exchange addresses and so on. I’d like to keep in touch with you to. Maybe you could do some slumming and visit me in my tiny flat in London.’

‘And you must come up to the North and spend some time with me. I’d love to take you to some of the places that I love in the Lake District and Snowdonia.’


Exchanges such as these, and about the sights they passed, helped to pass the time. Soon, as they passed Weymouth and Wyke Regis, they were at Ferry Bridge, the start of the bridge across the causeway around Portland Harbour between the mainland and the Isle of Portland.

At the southernmost point of the island, they wandered around finding the best viewpoint from which to photograph the red and white lighthouse, the Trinity House Obelisk and Pulpit Rock.

On the road to the mainland there were more photo opportunities at Portland Marina. Charlotte was, by now, truly becoming almost as keen a photographer as Carrie. Then, as they crossed to Ferry Bridge on their way back towards Weymouth, they marvelled at the view of Chesil Beach stretching in a long arc all the way back to West Bay. Carrie asked Charlotte whether she wanted to park-up for a walk on the beach. Charlotte wasn’t really bothered – she was more interested in exploring Weymouth. Carrie agreed, but asked Charlotte whether she’d read the book or seen the film adaptation of ‘On Chesil Beach’. Charlotte confessed that she wasn’t a great fan of Ian McEwan’s work. She’d tried reading ‘Atonement’ but had thought it to be turgid and, from what reviews she’d seen about the film ‘On Chesil Beach’  – about its theme being the sexual repression of a young couple who didn’t have the words to understand their problem – she’d decided that it wouldn’t interest or entertain her.

Carrie was fascinated by Charlotte’s thinking. She clearly wasn’t one to be a slave to literary reviews merely to impress others as to the extent of her cultural enlightenment.

At Wyke Regis, Charlotte turned right, to head for the supermarkets area of Weymouth, close to the Harbour, so that they could find a place to eat before they walked to the Marina.

Carrie used their lunch break to speak to Charlotte about the return to Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. She pointed out that, because it was bank holiday weekend, there’d be lots of tourists about when they arrived, and that might pose a problem for parking at either place early in the day. She advised that they should definitely try to arrive no later than lunchtime, however, because they’d need to scout out routes. They’d probably get their best photographs of the Milky Way not long before midnight. It would be pitch-black darkness by then, and they’d need to find their way back to the car by torchlight. If the car were at Lulworth Cove, there would be a walk of more than a mile along clifftop paths with a sheer descent, on one side, for most of the way.

Carrie looked at her, shocked.

Featured Photo

I took this photo a a little more than a week ago (21/02/2021) while I was out for a walk. I’d gone to take my daily exercise a couple of miles further from home than usual. I began near the Ship Inn at Blackbrook, St Helens, Merseyside. I parked near the Ranger’s Hut and walked, initially along the Canal and then beside the stream along the woodland path to its junction with Garswood Old Road at Happy Valley, Carr Mill. I’d taken my camera and took lots of photos to show you over the next several episodes of this story. Most of them will show the path and the water beside it.

This next photograph shows a man in a red jacket, riding a bicycle approaching me, on the woodland path.

I used my Pentax KP 24 MP cropped sensor camera with a 35 mm f/2 full-frame prime lens attached. The shutter speed was 1/125s at f/8and the ISO was 2000. Given that the camera is known to have slow autofocus, especially on approaching people or animals, I was amazed that this shot came out as clear as it did. The shot was handheld and I post-processed my shot in Lightroom Classic.

Author: writingandphotography0531

I am a retired local government officer. At that time, I was an IT manager and had associated responsibilities for training. I have previously been involved, in various organisations, with aspects of industrial training and management development. My hobby is photography and, until recently, hillwalking in Snowdonia. I have just written my first novel, Persephone and the Photographer, published as a Kindle eBook.

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