Next Stop, The South Coast

We have pivoted. Meaning that we’re off again, having barely had the time to evict the tribes of wing-mirrored spiders before they claim squatters rights.

Pivoted? Well, yes, because this time we pivot our trip around a Covidly-delayed family wedding, to take place at a rather smart venue in the heart of Thomas Hardy’s bucolic county of Dorset. And much to do around the pivot point, including the week preceding by the sea in Pevensey followed by the weekend wedding, taking place amidst landscaped grounds and a rather stunning Purbeck-stoned country-house under favourably azure Mediterranean-hued skies. After which we’re then off to explore the Jurassic Coast via a reunion with a long-lost cousin, so we are – as my Mother would say – being just a little bit busy.

Having sea-sided on the beach where William The Conqueror allegedly made landfall, we travel Dorset-wards and park the Knumptywagen offsite, to then be transferred in our black-tied finery, first to Hardy’s Mellstock church and thence to Came House, grandiose in its command of the view over rolling Dorset countryside, made buttery-gold by the recent harvest.

We celebrate the marriage like maniacs, the first big family occasion since Lockdown was invented – and then party into the late summer evening as if the occasion might also be our last. So it is that a slightly bedraggled, bravely smiling group of guests reconvene on the Sunday morning, where we ignominiously park the bug-spattered, grimy Knumptywagen on the gravelled forecourt of The Big House, where it attracts the attention of small children and curious adults alike.

The doors are left open for the little flow of visitors to pop in and view the spacious interior; the ingenious storage binnacles; undercounter fridge; 3-ring stove; tiny oven; bijou dinette; overcab bed and the compact wet-room which combines nifty shower with quaint chemical toilet.

Towards the end of the morning’s sociability, as guests begin the take their leave, we find ourselves chatting with the owners of the wedding venue who are – obviously – well-spoken, well-bred and clearly well-old-moneyed. As such they are intrigued by the delightful novelty of the dirty-white wheeled box parked askew on their forecourt – which clearly doesn’t sport any of the upmarket badging normally associated with the sleekly-polished limousine marques often to be seen gracing this particular patch of groomed gravel.

“Please – have a look inside” we invite, attempting to mirror the classically upmarket, relaxed confidence of our hosts, as we wander away to wave off others, leaving them both to conduct their own guided tour of the Knumptywagen’s interior.

“Lovely” they both pronounce as they rather hurriedly disembark and themselves stride off to attend to other business. It is not until we ourselves make ready to depart that we discover a small, disproportionately malodourous business item has been gifted to us by one of the small, fascinated children who have also been popping in and out, and who had clearly discovered how to use – but sadly not to flush – the toilet.


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