Who knew? I have a Geography O Level, and did poorly at an A Level. I remember drawing lots of pictures of geographical features, but no one ever showed me pictures or, better still, took me to see any of them. I will admit to a complete failure to understand scale!
We’ve just come back from Dorset where the coastline is brimming with examples of exciting rock formations – yes, I know, I didn’t expect to write that phrase either. We had a wonderful clamber over the pavements at Kimmeridge where you can look at the folded layers of oil shale and limestone, eyes peeled for fossils when you’re not looking in the rock pools. It’s fascinating! (And I vividly remember going to Lulworth for the first time and being completely blown away by the reality of my teenage diagrams.) It may be that I just wasn’t very interested in Geography, but I think it more likely that it didn’t seem real, it didn’t grip me. (I recently saw a baobab tree on TV and it looked exactly like the drawing I’d done as a fourth former; I’d never seen a real one - not even a photograph – so, as with the rock, didn’t really understand what they were.)
On another trek, on a very drizzly morning, we walked out to the coast from Kingston, around the headland and down to Chapman’s Pool. The last part was off our usual route but Husband and Youngest decided we needed to get to the sea. There are steps cut into the Houns Tout cliff, but the next bit was just cliff. Eldest decided, about half way down, to wait for our return. Foolishly, I followed the other two. This was not the family’s usual ‘bear hunt’: this was hippo country! I have never seen so much clay outside of a pottery! It was extremely slippery underfoot and this Hausfrau got very grumpy indeed! I’m afraid I didn’t make it to the beach either, despite mocking from Husband: I couldn’t see how I was going to get back up without getting filthy and I’d been promised a pub lunch! There were people swimming. I can’t even begin to explain why they were in the sea…
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