Now before I begin my holiday waffles, can I just first of all say a big thank you for all your warm welcome-home messages on yesterdays post. I truly appreciated it, made me feel better in amidst all the boring bits of dirty domesticity yesterday which very nearly had me in a heap. ((thank you))
So :: Holiday Tales for the rest of this week, I hope I'm not going to send you off yawning, I'm always a little wary of blabbering on about holidays as it's not everyones cup of tea I know. I've managed to organise my snaps into three parts, so today, without further delay, I give you Part I :: in which we Potter Around the Local Environs of Craster.
you've been reading my blog for a while, you will know about this place
already as it has become a familiar part of our Summer. We've been
staying in the teeny-tiny village of Craster since 2005 when the Little People were just Little Tots, and have come
to love it dearly. This was our third year staying in the very same house in Craster too, the little white house called Driftwood at the end of the row there, with it's quirky charms and the most stunning sea views. The house was as warm, cosy and welcoming as we had remembered it to be, the garden was in full flower and full of fluttering butterflies, and the sound of the sea just a few metres away was oooooooohhhhhhhhhhh just fabulous.
The weather in Northumberland last week was mixed. There were two quite wet days, which was kind of to be expected really :: we still ventured out on the wet days, made the best of them, and in a way it did serve to make us apreciate the dry days even more. And yes, there were some dry days too, some terrifically warm, hot, glorious sunny summer days, and oh we did enjoy those to the full!
When in Craster, one can really, seriously Potter, and oh my goodness, there's not a lot I enjoy more than a jolly good Potter by the Sea. In fact, Pottering around Craster is a real delight. There is not a lot here in the way of facilities, amusements or attractions, yet this little fishing harbour is hugely charming and offers up the simple pleasures of holidaying by the sea. Strolling leisurely about, breathing in the salty, smoky air, watching the little fishing boats coming and going, searching for shells on the little beach and sea creatures in the rockpools, admiring the little fishermans cottages with their seasidey gardens and generally just breathing it all in.
This year, the mermaid statue had been moved from her position down by the harbourside where she used to nestle beside the boats, and she was now proudly up on her own grassy bank with her very own beautiful floral boat. We walked past her most days to say hello, en route to the playground swings or the tiny harbour beach or the Fishermans Arms.
We Pottered in Craster at all times of day :: sometimes for early morning rockpooling, sometimes for a post-dinner stroll along the breezy cliffs, sometimes on a quest for an afternoon icecream or a lunch time pint of beer. It was always leisurely, relaxed, fun and happy :: the true essence of Summer Holidays.
The little front gardens belonging to the row of cottages around the harbour never fail to delight me. They contain a mix of old lobster pots, bleached wooden benches and dinky little wooden gates, pebbles and driftwood and rambling flowers that makes my heart squeeze. I just love the slightly chaotic nature of them, the fact that most of them verge on being quite unkempt, yet they look so beautiful to me.
I especially love this flower which grows vigorously in almost every seaside place I know. It's called Valerian and to me is a real reminder of summertimes spent by the sea.
There was lots of it growing in the back garden of Driftwood, and day after day it was a magnet for dozens of butterflies. It self-seeds freely and can happily grow out of walls and rocks, so I am guessing it's quite hardy. I managed to collect some seeds from the garden and am hoping, hoping, hoping I might be able to successfully cultivate some valerian in my own Yorkshire garden. If the seeds don't work out, I think I'll have to splurge and buy myself a plant or two.
Being so close to the sea is a thrill I never tire of, I am a real sea-junkie. And staying at Driftwood gave me a daily dose of sea-fix in such large quantities that at times it was quite overwhelming. As you probably know by now, I am fascinated by the weather and the skies, whether at home or on holiday. It gives me huge pleasure to observe the changing light and colours and I love the overall connection with nature that sky-watching brings.
In Craster, well Northumberland in general, the skies are huuuuuuuuuge. Great uninterrupted expanses of them overhead, and much of my time at Driftwood was spent gazing out of the open window. Some days the weather was really extraordinary. It would be quite bright and sunny in Craster, yet out at sea we could clearly see a big rainstorm was on it's way. This made for some of the most amazing rainbows I have ever seen :: huge, bright, perfect arcs of colour above the horizon.
The rainbows were so big that I couldn't photograph the whole of them, only the end bits which touched down into the sea. But oh, they were glorious! The two pictures above were taken on two different afternoons...in the second picture, you might just be able to make out the two figures walking round the harbour :: Little Man wearing his bright red raincoat and J in blue. Me and Little Lady were content to stay warm and dry and watch out the window.
And then there were the early morning skies too. Oh. My. Goodness. Such beauty. And such colour!
To open ones eyes in the early morning (we slept with the curtains and windows wide open) to this view was something that really, really gave me the heebie jeebies. Words cannot describe.
Our summer holiday this year was everything we hoped it would be. Each year we visit, we notice our Little People growing bigger, walking further, exploring more, and I am very aware that they are now at an age where their memories will stick and last. I just love the thought of our little seaside holidays being woven into their precious Childhood.
Well, thank you so much for sharing with me, it's been wonderful to have your company. Please do drop by for part II tomorrow, in which we Explore All Things Beachy and Seasidey.
See you then.....