Monday, 30 June 2008
M went to visit his father yesterday who's been poorly recently. The girls and I decided to spend the afternoon on the beach. We drove along the coast, away from the city, out and over the Downs. We turned the car radio on to FIP and imagined we were on holiday. Not such a hard thing to do with the sun shining, the sea glistening in the sun on one side and the green hills and hedgerows of the Downs on the other. Little Sister said that it felt like summer, she wasn't wrong.
Ten minutes later we were sitting on a near deserted beach, listening to the waves lapping against the rocks and eating our sandwiches. I do know how lucky we are to live where we do, the coast and the countryside literally on our doorstep. Fortunately my daughters appreciate it too. Big Sister said to me yesterday that if we ever had to move away she would miss the sea so much. Not that we are always down on the beach, in fact in Summer we rarely go the main beach, preferring the grey somewhat desolate winter months to walk between the piers. We tend to pack a picnic and drive out for our days by the sea.
I'm glad they appreciate the beauty of the sea, how calming and relaxing it can be. How you can just literally lose yourself staring out onto the horizon watching a boat sailing past, when the sun shines you could be anywhere. When I was little days out by the sea seemed to involve days of planning. We would always go with various Aunts , Uncles and cousins. We always had egg sandwiches and we were always stuck in endless traffic jams. It being England we would check regularly to see what the cows were up to every time we past a field. Cows lying down were always such a bad sign - and they invariably were!!! Whatever the weather though we always had such fun.
I remember reading my daughters this story by Shirley Hughes. I loved it and they loved it. It seemed to capture all the excitement and magic of going to the seaside and I seem to remember that a lot of time was spent preparing the food to take as well - I have such vivid memories of the food being packed for our seaside days out when I was little, eggs being boiled, oranges chopped and cakes being made. What a lot of packing was involved ...
It was a lazy affair for us yesterday, some sandwiches, fruit, cookies and crisps which resulted in a very heated debate and a lot of reminiscing over favourite crisp flavours!
We took our books, the girls paddled, held hands (a rare occurrence these days) and discovered that they do enjoy each other's company despite the age gap.
Little Sister brought her drawing book, I remember never sitting on the beach without mine either when I was little. Big Sister was determined to soak up the rays and most of all we chatted. Sitting by the sea it does feel that time stands still, there is time to chat, to laugh and play. Us three girls like Russian Dolls (I am no longer the tallest!) spending time together, making memories of a Sunday afternoon. I realised on the drive home how wonderful our blogs are to record these kind of days, to capture days together when, deep down as a parent, you know it won't be long before your children stop wanting to share sunny Sunday afternoons with you. I hope they remember their days by the sea as fondly as I do my hazy childhood memories. Of course, just like when I was little, we bought 99s on the way home, our noses were pink (you were right Mrs Custard), our clothes smelt of the sea and our bags seemed to take forever to unpack.