It was half term last week. There are two camps in Lyme, one of them says “half term is great, the roads are so quiet without all the school run lot” and the other “there’s no parking, hundreds of dogs and children wandering about and I had to queue in Costa, what a nightmare”. I’m not in either camp so don’t grumble.

the Marine Theatre’s bar manager has applied to be an extra

With the soon to arrive feature film frenzy in the form of Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, I suspect both camps are going to be sent into a spin when roads, pavements and car parks are closed off and thousands of people head for Lyme in the hope of catching a glimpse of the stars or being given a cameo role; the Marine Theatre’s bar manager Claire Jillings has applied to be an extra, so too has local councillor Mad Jeff Scowen.

Have you noticed the days have suddenly become longer; I know it happens slowly, around 2 minutes each day from the winter solstice, but it seems like one day I’m going to work in semi-darkness and the next it is daylight and the birds are singing their hearts out. We also enjoyed some balmy temperatures leading to some equally balmy people going for a swim in the sea and I’m not talking about the hardened locals who are suited and booted for their daily dip, I’m talking pale white skinned non-natives in nothing more than swimming trunks.

We celebrated another sellout performance; The South who are performing on 22 March have followed in the footsteps of Fleetwood Bac which is great news for people who wisely bought in advance but not such good news for people hoping to buy tickets on the door. We do occasionally have returns to offer hopefuls who turn up on the night but it’s pretty unlikely with these bands.

The Marine Theatre is magical, a sparkly gem

If the comments on the various social media platforms are anything to go by, everyone who came along to the Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope show was treated to a brilliant piece of theatre. Mark Farrelly who played the role of Quentin said…“The Marine Theatre is magical: a sparkly gem perching on the Dorset coast. Joyful night…with a simply terrific audience…special atmosphere and genuinely great staff”. FYI it’s @MarkFarrellyUK on Twitter if you want to follow him.

Not that you need reminding about the remarkably eclectic mix of events that happen at the Marine, we hosted the European Small-scale Fisheries Exchange on Saturday. There were fishermen from Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Italy and the UK sharing news and ideas including sustainability and threats to the industry. The theatre was awash with fish, crustaceans, nets, hook, line and sinker and other than the talks, films and presentations, there was a trip to West Bay for the fine fishing folk.

I do a kind of half frog half doggy paddle

Talking of all things aquatic, I went for my weekly swim on Wednesday night; no, not in the sea, I’m not that daft, no, in the Bridport Leisure Centre pool where I do my best to swim at least 15 lengths but generally lose count after 5. Thing is, I have definitely lost the knack of doing the frog legs thing that goes with breaststroke. I do a kind of half frog half doggy paddle cum side stroke thing, so in an effort to look more like a seasoned swimmer I have started doing the backstroke which only needs a kicking action. But it’s pretty knackering so I generally give up after half a length, do a quick turn mid-stroke and revert to the non-frog-legs breaststroke.

Anyway, going back to half term, now my sons are an age when they no longer need (want) their mum hanging round, I returned home one evening to find son number 2 had allowed a pal to cut his hair. Apparently the friend wants to be a barber when he grows up. Suffice to say it cost more to get the crew cut experiment sorted than a normal hair cut.

Half term? It’s a nightmare!

Half term, Kate Winslet & fishermen from across Europe
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