With images of the recent Westminster atrocities constantly on my mind, and another bomb exploding on St. Petersburg metro, you often wonder where you are safe these days but WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES is my motto. Some two weeks prior to Westminster Bridge atrocities I casually walked over that very same bridge on my way to meet friends at the EYE only this time as I was running a few minutes late and I spent most of the time dodging the huge number of visitors on the bridge who stopped here and there while admiring views and taking photos and selfies from mobiles. Doubtless that has now changed. 

A couple of weeks before the Westminster atrocities I spent a pleasant weekend in Sandbanks and more than anything enjoyed of taking my friend’s playful Springer spaniel, Jake for long walks along local sandy beaches and even ventured over to nearby Shell Bay. My friendship with Jake goes back when he was a six month pup and I accompanied my girlfriend who in those days lived in Fulham, for long walks in Richmond Park. Strange as it may sound but Jake and I are still the best of friends and no-matter how long it is since my last visit, Jake always greets me like a long-lost friend. Fortunately this time my visit coincided with particularly pleasant warm spring weather and perfect for long beach walks. It was also the time of a full moon which meant spring tides had left vast stretches of exposed muddy beaches to walk along where normally they are covered in sea water and considerably deeper when its high tide. Poor Jake wasn’t in the least bit impressed as there were no familiar doggy smells to keep him happy apart from the odd fisherman digging for worms to bark at. He soon got bored and took off chasing sea gulls instead until suddenly he realised he was miles away and bounded back in our direction only to find a channel of water had to be negotiated. Seeing him swimming in the middle of this albeit shallow channel, tail wagging nineteen to the dozen and still persisting to chase the odd seagull who were obviously playing a sort of  ‘catch me if you can’ game with him, was so funny to watch all we could do was lapse into fits of giggles. At least we all enjoyed our walk.

As the next day was another warm, sunny day we decided to go on a more adventurous walk with Jake which meant taking the chain ferry from Sandbanks across to Shell Bay. This particular walk is best done when the weather is fine and not too windy as it involves walking over steep heather covered dunes most of the way. and takes the best part of an hour. On our way back to the chain ferry we decided to pop into the nearby Shell Bay restaurant (www.shellbay.net) as I wanted to find out if it was still owned by Peter Farrer, who ironically I am related to through one of my mother’s marriages, only to discover surprisingly he’s still the owner albeit the restaurant is now run by his son James. Next time we decide to take a walk around Shell Bay, we promised ourselves to stop by and have a drink and/or snack there before returning to Sandbanks.

A wonderful day – and  – WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES! 

 

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