July 12, 2010

Easy Dorset

From BBC News: Man, 75, hurt in 'tombstone' cliff dive
Coastguards have warned people about jumping off cliffs in a practice known as "tombstoning" after a 75-year-old man who dived 30ft (9m) was injured.

Portland Coastguard was called to Durdle Door at 1504 BST on Sunday after the swimmer was said to be "in shock".
I'm sorry, the coastguard was called to where?
DURDLE DOOR.
Well, I mean, the poor old sod can hardly be blamed for thinking there was nothing dangerous about a place called Durdle Door, can he? It sounds like something out of Harry Potter.
WIFE: Where are you going, dear?

HUSBAND: Oh, just out for a spot of swimming at Durdle Door.

WIFE: BEWARE! Men have met their gruesome ends at the horrific site of Durdle Door! Abandon hope all ye who ente—

HUSBAND: Whatever.
Durdle Door is, in fact, only one of many popular coastline attractions in the area, including (these are all real):

The Lulford Crumple
Budleigh Salterton
Langton Matravers
Old Harry's Rocks
St Aldhelm's Head
etc.

(I think Budleigh Salterton and Langton Matravers won the men's doubles at Wimbledon one year.)

Dorset is also home to an impossibly long and wonderful list of silly English place names, among which my favourite are:

Melbury Bubb
Okeford Fitzpaine
Fifehead St Quintin
Badbury Rings
Bradford Peverell
Sixpenny Handley
Whitchurch Canonicorum
Higher Bockhampton
Ryme Intrinseca
Winterborne Stickland

...and of course, the long-suffering village of Shitterton.

And then, of course, there are my own too-fun-to-make-up additions to the list:

Windy Bottomsford
High Bottomsbury
Fotheringham-Upon-Potts
Chintzy St Margaret
Forgetmenot Plympton
etc.

I love England. Except when they are put in charge of refereeing world cup finals.

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