Chihuahuas in Charmouth

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AS I type, they squirm on my lap, a couple of tufty, snuffling creatures with limpid eyes and outsize ears.

I’m dog-sitting two chihuahuas. As I’ve never been to Charmouth beach, we all went to see the sun set last night. A pair of boats are perched high on the shingle.

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The sea’s heaved rubble right up to the beach cafe’s welcome mat. The sun’s glowing celestial pink, drawing out the rest of the sky in a haze of navy, lemon, indigo.

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Lowry-like stick figures perambulate into the sunset. Behind us, the prehistoric cliffs rear green and brown to the east and the west. Serried ranks of beach huts seem Colosseum-coloured in the fading light.

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Children pan for finds in rockpools.

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The sea slinks away. The sun sinks lower. Turning pewter, sodden sand reflects the glorious hues back at me.

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Stan and Ollie won’t go in the water, but they’re having a whale of a time trotting and sniffing around boulders. A drenched spaniel, hair matted like a mythical sea monster, moseys up to say hello.

And then it’s time to say goodbye – we’re all a little bit wet and cold! Can’t wait to come back here in the summer.

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