Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Summer Diary W2 D3

This delightful mode of transport is called ‘The Noddy Train’.  I have no idea if that’s it’s real name but 3 generations of my husband’s family seem to think it is and that’s good enough for me. It runs from the car park at the bottom of The Broadway all along the Spit at Hengisbury, to a rather delightful little dwelling of impressively expensive beach huts and a stretch of pretty (if a little pebbly) beach.  It’s one of my favourite places on the south coast, the lane the train runs along is mostly tree lined with beautiful views of Christchurch harbour with the Cathedral in the distance, we used to often walk or cycle down it’s length, often with our old dog, to meet friends on the beach pre-children.  Sunbathing topless, drink warm beer and enjoying water skiing or do-nuting off the OH’s little speedboat (how times have changed!)

So yes, today the smalls and I collected the MIL and went off to the beach!

I think they assumed that we would either be taking the train or the cliff railway because the Little Lady’s face dropped when Nana said “The beach is just down that path.” and I had to butt in with “We will be going on the Noddy train Nana!”

After making sure everyone had visited the toilet (why do children insist on weeing at every toilet you pass? Even the mention of the T word has my two in a chorus of “I need a wee!”) we got in the train queue and waited with an undercurrent of excitement for our train ride, the way only small children can.

Bags stowed and small people away from the gaping hole that served as a door we bumped our way down the track to the beach, waving and saying hello to everyone we passed.

It really is a stunning place…

Once on the beach the Little Lady cast aside her clothes and threw herself at the sea, the Little Man was happy to dig and make mud pies.

We had lunch.

and built a “Mystery Sandcastle Mountain” which super hero’s live in (apparently)

and then had to sadly come home which caused a few tears, they perked up a bit when the Chippy was mentioned and after dinner they charged around on their scooters out the front while Daddy met one of his website car people.

Once again I’m the last person awake in the house, it’s cool and quiet and quite lovely; but you know that thing that happens when you spend all day yelling at the small people to “Keep your hat on” “Drink something!” “More sunblock! You don’t want to burn!” and totally forget to wear a hat, sun block or drink anything yourself? Yeah that…. Mummy is a lobster!

The Gallery: Tomorrow

When I think of tomorrow in a figurative way (not just plain old Thursday) I think of Blue Skies and Sunshine. I start feeling hopeful, wishful and often down right soppy.  I find myself wishing for ‘things’ to be fine, not just the “Oh, me? Yeah I’m fine…” utterances which come out every time I’m asked, but the really fine – healthy, happy contentment, no worries, no stress, no problems type of fine.

Isn’t that what we all want for tomorrow?

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Wind and the Tide: The Gallery

This weeks theme for The Gallery is Mother Nature, such a broad and expansive subject when you start to consider it. Flicking though my snaps looking for inspiration I came across this picture which illustrates for me two important parts of mother nature which I believe we are yet to fully harness.

My smalls playing on Southbourne Beach, on a very windy day. I made so many trips into the “too splashy” waves to fill up buckets and watering cans because they wouldn’t go in themselves…

Now I KNOW it’s summer!

I just ate my first good nectarine of the summer…

You don’t get a good nectarine (over here) at any other time of year, they are too hard, too pale, to dry so it’s not worth the effort of trying.

Nectarines must be my ultimate summer fruit, there is something about the tastebud tingling flavour that explodes across my mouth and just stands up in my head waving it’s arms and yells “Wooohoo! Dude! Summer is in town and it’s just had a party on your tongue!”

You pick one up and give it a gentle squeeze and the ripeness gives slightly under the pressure of your fingers, smell it and the aroma is fresh but slight with a promise of good things to come.  The smoothness of the skin does not detract from the experience as pressure is applied to take a bite.  The flesh is giving, soft and juicy and you know it’s going to dribble down your chin but that is fine it all adds to the enjoyment. Lip licking, finger sticking lusciousness.

My first nectarine of the year must be savoured with closed eyes, daydreaming of the sun warming my face and the sound of the sea lapping on a clean white beach and playing cheekily with my toes.

I like cherries too….

The Gallery at Sticky Fingers. Week 13, Still life

10 things that make me HAPPY!

I was tagged for this meme by Susie of Newdaynewlesson she has done it 3 times so I’m guessing it’s been around a while, so I have been trying to think what makes me happy besides the smalls, the husband, the cats, vinegar with lashings of chips and chocolate and I’m not really that surprised to find out that the thing that makes me happy in a variety of forms is WATER!

Hot showers:- Standing in the shower cubical with a steaming hot torrent of water beating down on my head and shoulders is like a small corner of heaven, I can almost forget that the smalls are usually tearing up her bedroom or ignore the crys of anguish as he gets a toy she wants or vice versa.

The Sea:- Some of my happiest memories involve the sea, I love the beach in spring and autumn when it is warm but not hot and fairly empty, jumping away from the waves and splashing is such good fun.  The sound of the waves is so restful as they lap back and forth.  Body boarding is as exhausting as it is exhilarating. I’m sure surfing is too although I have never been able to stand up myself.   The sea can be so romantic, sitting on the beach watching the sun go down below the horizon, she is a seductive mistress as she can also be so dangerous, it is also a mysterious place worthy of investigation which leads me to…

Scuba diving:- I obtained my PADI open water in Looe, Cornwall in my twenties, sadly I never kept it up but it’s on the list to revisit.  It was a very happy time for me. Two girl friends and I rented a caravan on a park for a week and did our open water on the seafront in Looe, it was a great experience.  My most striking memory was the way the freshwater of the estuary mixed with the salt water of the sea creating patterns and distortion, beautiful.

Rain:-  There is nothing quite so cleansing as the rain, the way the world smells after it has rained all fresh and somehow green is very special. Shutting my eyes and breathing the scent fills me with a centered contentment, it talks to my soul somewhere in the part of me that is still a cavegirl 🙂

Swimming:- Total suspension in water is a really great feeling too, not quite weightless but somehow supported as you push against it and feel it rushing about your limbs, a fabulous way to stretch and work out.

Hot tub:- This is my escape after a long day of smalldom I often feel like I’m sneaking off to the garden to chill out in the bubbles, of course the smalls often do get to go in too, it’s great to see their faces as they play and splash or mess about with balls.  Daddy and I get to talk in the tub, better then anywhere else because there is no TV or laptop, nothing to detract from the conversation – it’s a place to catch up and make sense of stuff, to plan and to dream.

Steam room:- You can keep your saunas the steam room is the place for me and the ultimate in steam rooms is at Bath Thermae Spa
Each steam room is made of glass and has a different essential oil, my favourite is the jasmine and lavender, so restful and the mountain pine is really invigorating – almost cold somehow, there is a waterfall in the middle of the room which will make you feel washed away with force in seconds – it’s paradise on earth. I took Daddy to the spa for his 40th birthday, we had a great time.

Koi pond:- A lot of effort went into creating our Koi pond, it is kidney shaped and 5ft 8inches deep, Daddy designed dug and constructed the pond and filters himself, there is a smaller pond to the left for goldfish, lillies and frogs. The pond has made our garden a happy place to sit and watch the children play, the sound of the water bubbling and the fish splashing are very relaxing, we are very pleased with it. The neighbours were very pleased to see me out and about after all that digging ;-D

Snow:- As Lola would say “Snow is my favourite and my best” Going on a skiing holiday makes me very happy indeed, there is nothing like a wide piste with freshly fallen powder. You push off and ski through marshmallow snow and it makes a swoooosh swooosh sound as you glide down the hill. We had a stunning fortnight in Copper Mountain, CO before the smalls arrived, I think they will be big enough next year for all of us to go – start saving!

Ice:- Ice really is so very civilized, the lovely clink clink noise it makes as it drops into a glass or the plop as it drops into a Baileys.

So there you have it, 10 reasons water makes me feel happy. Now the hard bit, I have to nominate others to do the meme – I’m really sorry if you have done it before…

Yummy Mummy No.1
Mummy musings
It’s all good if you can laugh
Marianneparis of Paris-Ankara Express
Utterly Scrummy
Little green fingers

All of whom I think will have interesting things to say on the subject of happy….

Photo Credits
Bath Thermae Spa – Steam room

A day at the beach

We needed to break out and run around a bit, so I asked my daughter where she would like to go, “to the beach” she said, and I frowned because she doesn’t normally like getting mucky but it seemed like a good idea.

Alex on the beach

It's in the sand

Under the lift
Blown away
After a little while the little miss decided she didn’t like the sand in her toes, it was yucky, so I engaged her in a game of smash my sandcastle, after a while we packed up and rode up the cliff railway which they really loved.
After which we stopped by at Nana’s to say hi and get Mummy a much needed cup of tea.

The little miss was too busy with Nana to have her picture taken

Happy Birthday Liz!

Today is my step sisters birthday, Happy Birthday Liz!

She is 5 months younger than me, we met at school when we were about 6 or 7.  Her father used to call us the terrible twins.  We attended brownies together and it was during those days of lift sharing that our parents met (I may save that story for when I’m feeling braver…)

Over the years I have many many memories of our time together as friends and sisters, our shared holidays with the parents usually involved the general mischief that teenage girls get up to, mostly involving boys, we were scarily innocent really.

I remember hurrying to the pier in Exmouth because of a cute pair of twins  who liked to fish there we were about 11 then. They were from Lancashire and didn’t seem to mind us hanging around to much, I’m in touch with one of them still after all this time.   There were the chaps who threw pebbles at our window one year, again in Exmouth, though how they expected us to get down from the first floor I have no idea!

Spain stays with me because at 15 we were given too much rope by our parents in retrospect, we spent a lot of our time with the other 15/16 year olds on the campsite of various nationalities and it was our first holiday where we discovered the joys of drinking – not in the binge drinking way the youngster seem to be now ( How old do I sound!) but we were amazed by how much vodka the Spanish actually put in a vodka and lime! After a night out there we were staggering together back through the campsite I was part dragging her as she seemed unable to support herself when I saw her father approaching “Liz – it’s your Dad” Instantly sober and upright we walked back with him, I’m still not sure how she pulled it off or if we actually did pull it off at all, I may have to ask him one day.

My favourite holiday was a in St. Jean du Mont, France. It’s a beautiful area of lovely beaches, warm sea and blue skyies, such colours!  This time we were away with Liz’s cousin Nicola as well, after spending time lolling around on the beach we got chatting to four chaps from Paris, bronzed Adonises!  they were camping near our caravan site, it was more an adventure in language and culture than anything else.  Nicola could speak better french than us and we managed to struggle along, the hilarity over “car blue” where  adjectives got swapped around never fails to raise a smile, Laurent had an obsession with the word “Pudding” and made us say it over and over.  They were drinking Malibu and pineapple one day (mid afternoon!) and one of the chaps said “Ooo la la Malibu, ” that became a kind of mantra that springs to mind every time I see a coconut.  During lunch one day Liz refused to share someones burger due to being vegetarian, they just couldn’t understand it!  Nicola had to explain vegetarianism without knowing the actual french word, which translated came across as “Liz doesn’t eat small animals” not quite right but it caused some laughter.  Good times.

We lived in different parts of England as we grew up, after leaving home I moved South about the time she was moving North, we would meet up at Christmas to try and play “Triv” whilst drinking up the festive spirit, often too much!

So on her birthday, not a big one yet, I enjoy that prospect later this year…  I’d like to say thanks to Liz for being my sister and Cheers! I hope you enjoy your day and any mad metal music and drinkies that may involve!