The Last Tresilians last year: it was no. 1960 A Use of Riches, one of the two other novels that Penguin published by J.I.M. Stewart. Amazingly, I found the other one (no. 2037 The Man Who Won the Pools) a few minutes later in a charity shop across the road for 25 pence.
The trip to Lyme Regis was really about John Fowles, The French Lieutenant's Woman, and Persuasion: it was something of a literary pilgrimage. And yet walking on the cobb has proved a much more difficult ambition to fulfil than you would expect. Last time I tried to get there I walked through dark streets and falling snow and arrived at Waterloo station to find all trains cancelled. This time I made it to Lyme Regis, but was stopped by a policeman 200 metres from the cobb because it was believed that a digging child had unearthed a landmine.
It turned out to be a rubber tyre, and so this morning after breakfast I headed to the cobb again, and I was rewarded with a beautiful winter's morning and a calm ocean, and the opportunity to experience the cobb in the best way possible: alone, and in complete silence.