When you live in a beautiful place like Lyme Regis you have to accept there is an occasional minor downside; during the holiday season, everyone who doesn’t live nearby descends on this small seaside resort and the population, vehicle and coach numbers expand exponentially. I know there are some who dislike the sudden influx of grockles when the postage stamp-sized sand-topped beach is minutely populated, the car parks extend to grass verges and pavements and this past week it all came to a nasty head when the one remaining cashpoint in town ran out of cash.

There was public outcry and condemnation of Tesco (where the one ATM is situated), Lloyds Bank (for shutting the last bank in town) and the council for not thinking about this inevitable problem. But despite the cash-strapped consumers, there was no obvious shortage of spending power as holidaymakers filled the cafes and bars, the latest Joules shop (people were actually queuing to be first in the shop when it opened recently!), ate ice creams and enough fish & chips to sink a trawler.

Yes, there were people aplenty in Lyme Regis during the school half-term break and to amply entertain all the incomers we had the Lyme Regis Jazz Festival with headliner Ruby Turner. To say the theatre was bulging at the sides would be an understatement as the fans flocked in to see Ruby and enjoy the bon vivant that was being radiated by everyone who had arrived in Lyme Regis on a very sunny Bank Holiday weekend.

There was a very small crisis when the Marine Theatre Bar ran low on chilled Prosecco and that one person took to social media to decry the outrage; I’m not sure if this was a grockle or native but either way the drama was soon drowned out by the sheer pleasure of soaking up the seaside sun and song. Ruby was reported to have said she wanted to take up residence in the theatre dressing room – it has panoramic views of the Jurassic coast.

Next weekend we have more great live music in the form of Mick Jagger’s brother; Chris Jagger & Charlie Hart will be performing  http://www.marinetheatre.com/chris-jagger-and-charlie-hart-saturday-10th-june/

With the extended weekend, I popped over the border and became a grockle myself visiting Exmoor National Park. It’s nothing short of a national treasure and the scenery is spectacular. We arrived at Dulverton where our circular walk started and in that oh so British style sat in the car eating our sandwiches and Waitrose picnic eggs with a flask of tea to swill it down, all whilst waiting for the rain to stop. An hour and a half later it did!

It was a beautiful walk, despite my eldest son sulking the entire time and acting like a morose hooded teenager and as we made our way back through the town, stopping off at the River Barle where my youngest son happily skimmed stones, I wondered if some of the locals who were sitting in the nearby pub, looked at us grockles and our foreign ways.

Anyway, back to our own territory, my short break over, I hit the road running with Slimming World arriving at the theatre for the weekly weigh-in. I wasn’t there for the duration as my eldest and I had a court appearance to attend. Fear not, it was the final judgement on an event that happened 9 years ago. It has drawn the legal line under it but it will never remove the memory or the continuing fear of what lies ahead for him. If you’re interested, read this post https://sophiamoseley.co.uk/2010/10/the-world-may-be-a-stage-but-its-not-a-shooting-gallery/

Returning to a different world of theatre, it was time for some Salsa! and also another training session for one of the Duty Managers. Whilst I don’t have two left feet exactly, I do have a very low opinion of my dancing abilities and watching the art of the mambo and the cucaracha, I think it was definitely best standing on the side-lines with my trainee!

The half-term weather was a pinstripe pattern of sunshine one day, rain the next so when the cloud cover arrived on Wednesday, the young audience who arrived to see According to Arthur were more than happy to be entertained indoors by this excellent performance. Our comment book was filled with masses of very happy sentiments like ‘brilliant’ ‘loved it’ and ‘what an amazing theatre’.

My walk back to the car-park at the end of each day takes my past a grade II listed Georgian house on Mill Green. It’s a beautiful property with wisteria draped across the front. and it belongs to a big supporter of the theatre and world renowned photographer Peter Wiles. A month ago they decided to move and the house went on the market. I told them they’d have no trouble selling it and sure enough, I see this week a ‘Sale Agreed’ sign has appeared.

I wonder if it’s a native Lymee who bought it or maybe it’s a grockle. Either way, I just hope it’s going to continue to be a loved family home rather than someone’s bolt hole that is occupied for just six weeks every year. Because that’s the other downside of living somewhere as beautiful as Lyme Regis, the number of holiday homes that are empty for eight months of the year. Grockle or not, don’t let me get started on that one!

Grockles, a court case and a Prosecco crisis
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