I don’t know about you, but when I go away on holiday, it takes me about 5 days to wind down. To relax. To let go. So, if we’re going on a 7 day holiday, according to my mathematics, thats 2 days of pure relaxation and 5 days of de-stressing. And this frustrates me beyond belief. It frustrates me for two reasons. 1) I know its happening and I don’t seem to be able to control it. 2) It only leaves me with 2 days of proper holiday hours. Our holiday last week was no different to the last few. Man, I was horrible. Snappy. Grumpy. Highly strung. Indeed not a nice person to be around. And my delightful Sven was so patient with me. I don’t know how he does it. He probably knows me better than I know myself and simply came to expect it. Yes. I think that might be the answer.
One day, we visited Tyneham. And this little visit gave me a little metaphorical slap around the chops. This is the third time we’ve been here. And I could probably keep coming back again and again and again. It so peaceful, and comforting. But in a bittersweet way, an unhappy place.
Let’t go back to 1943.
Tyneham was a little village, nestled into the hills not far away from Worbarrow Bay. The village was made up of a school house, a church, a post office and small houses – the rectory cottages, the gardeners cottages, and labourers cottages. According to local history records, just before Christmas in 1943, the village was approached by the Ministry Of Defence, requesting they leave the village prior to the beginning of the Second World War. They were paid a small amount of money to move, however it was barely enough to justify sacrificing their community. They were also promised it would be a temporary absence, which turned out to be untrue. They were forbidden to move back to their village after the war had ended.
Tyneham is now a shell of its former self, yet there are enough remnants to see the community it once was.
In all of the cottages, a local artist (or someone creative) has put together information on the people who lived here. They’re a nice tribute.
Not all of Tyneham is derelict. The school house and the church have been beautifully preserved.
All the original desks showed hand painted wildlife detail.
My favourite of all the houses in Tyneham are the gardeners cottages. They’re set away slightly from the rest of the village, just behind the church and away from the road. They seem so serene when you wander around them, slowing you down as you go. And there is absolutely no noise, apart from the sound of the country that the gentle sea breeze brings along.
Even thinking back to our afternoon at Tyneham whilst I write this makes me feel calm. Maybe I should take myself away there in my head more often. Hmm…I might just do that.