The final day of our Portland reunion started with a headache and the smell of last nights bonfire lingering. The very tipsy group were actually quite drunk, and the thought of returning home to London only made us all feel worse. As we made our way out of the huts for our final breakfast, the same feeling was felt all around.
This hangover needed a cure, and some fruit and juice was not going to be the answer.
Jacks family has spent years building up a collection of wet suits, so there was no excuse for us to all head down to the sea for a morning dip and shake off the night before. Once we were all back into our swimwear, we made out way down to the 'jump spot' as jack calls it.
With us all ready to go, we made out way to the edge and took a quick glance down. Its higher than it appears, and the water didn't look as inviting as the say before, but this was it. One by one we took the plunge into the morning water.
The water was freezing! It made you not only wake up, but shook any remains of a hangover away. Over and over we were jumping into the sea, whilst the local walkers stopped to give us a cheer each time someone took the plunge.
Feeling awake, we finished out final dip in the ocean and headed for a walk along the shoreline. With the light sea breeze drying us off, jack told us more about Portland than we knew. The area was used for quarrying until the early 20th century for Portland stone, which has been used to build St Paul's Cathedral and a range of other London landmarks such as Somerset house and Buckingham Palace.
The beach huts were originally for the fisherman. With each cluster of huts came a crane, which lowered the fisherman's boats down to the sea, and some of them still work today. In one of Jacks huts was a pinboard, with pictures of his family visiting Portland over the years. It was fascinating to see his elders do exactly what we were doing, showing that everyone is part of the history, and will pass this lifestyle on for many more generations to come!
At the southern tip of the island stands Portland Bill Lighthouse. Built in 1906, it warns the coastal traffic of the shoreline and also the sandbank that sits just off the coast.
With only a few house and a little pub to cater for the thirsty walkers, you get a real sense of being isolated from the rest of the country. Our day to day lives of meetings, social drinks and mobile phones were replaced with swimming, bonfires and good ol' fashioned gossiping without the use of our thumbs.
Our judging panel for the Limbo Contest.
A few rounds of limbo later, and the time had come for a few of us to get ready to leave Portland. Some of the group were staying down an extra night, but myself and a few others had to head back to London.
It felt like we had only just arrived, and were packing to leave right away. We had all relaxed into the Portland way of life once again, only to find that we were about to be hit with the London Dash once again. Luckily, the whole group would be coming off the island with us for a quick bite to eat.Coming off the island can only be described as feeling like we were re-entering the real world. Radio 1 would place again on the radio, the roads started to fill with traffic, and our mobiles went into a hyperactive buzz with messages and notifications coming through. It was time to say goodbye to the simple life!One of the final traditions we always kept when visiting the island, and I expect is many of your sea-side traditions too, is to head to the port in weymouth and have some Great British fish and chips by the sea.
Perfect after a weekend of failed BBQ's and diving in the sea as a breakfast alternative!
Three days with some of your oldest and closest friends is never enough, is it?