Every so often I find myself pining for the sea something terrible. Yes, every so often I do need to get me a Sea Fix, and it's a very strong need. An Urge even. I've been feeling the pull of the sea throughout most of this year, and have tried on numerous occasions to plan a weekend jaunt to the coast with the Attic family. But the family doesn't suffer from the same kind of withdrawal symptoms that I do, and they don't feel The Urge like I do. They moan about the one-hour-and-twenty-minutes it takes us to drive to the sea from here. They moan loudly, and so I give in with a shrug of my shoulders and a slightly heavy heart.
But....I do happen to be married to a very lovely, thoughtful man. The kind of man who arranges a day off work and decides he will use that precious day to whisk his wife to the coast for her Sea Fix. Kind of a day-late Mother's Day treat he said. Sweet Man ♥ So yesterday morning bright and early, I was leaping around with excitement making up a picnic, assembling picnic rug, cool bag, boots, bucket and spade. Preparing for our jaunt to the sea. And after depositing the Little People at school, we set off to drive upwards and to the left (North West?), heading for the quaint little village of Heysham.
It's almost exactly three years ago since we were here last, you may even remember it? It hasn't changed one jot. It's a very quirky, quiet (oh so quiet) place, hardly a soul about. No traffic, the roads are practically deserted. We park our car as we did last time, on a quiet residential road quite high above the sea below. It's cold, bright and blustery, quite a perfect day to be beside the sea I think.
We walk briskly down the path to reach the promenade. I am not walking exactly, I am half running and half skipping. J is laughing at my visible excitement, I cannot contain the pure pleasure of simply being beside the sea. Of seeing it, hearing it, smelling it. The air smells wonderful. Sharp and salty and fresh and full of Goodness.
Of course we do not have the Little People with us, but oh we do indeed have our Little B! He is wearing his yellow wellington boots and seems to be picking up on my excitement, he is chatty and points and exclaims a lot. We take him into this little sandy, windswept play area and he enjoys lots of climbing and sliding. But my feet are itching to get down onto the sands, and soon enough we head to the beach.
The tide moves in and out very quickly here, it's famous for it. There was hardly any visible beach when we arrived, yet within half an hour, all this gorgeous ripply sand has appeared as if by magic. Marvellous! Just right for a spot of running, jumping, throwing and shell gathering.
Little B is new to the idea of beach combing, having never done it before, so I teach him the art. I help him to look for pretty shells which we rinse clean in the little sea water pools. He examines them closely, then slings them in the bucket. So far so good. But then I turn around and find he is throwing them all out of the bucket. No no! We need to collect them! Keep them IN the bucket! But he is intent on throwing them out, one by one, out they go until his bucket is empty. Ok, begin again. "More" he says. Pick up, rinse in water, put in bucket. Collect about eight, then they all get thrown out. I give up trying to thwart him and just enjoy watching him instead, he is delighted with the whole process obviously.
I can't really do much beach combing myself cos I am having to supervise the Little fella. He is stomping in pools of sea water, splashing water all up his trousers and into his boots. He is tripping and stumbling over slippery rocks, he is investigating great piles of stinky seaweed. But oh my, he is having fun! I take a few snaps of him doing his thing, and I gaze up and down the deserted beach. Bliss. I am full of sea-bliss.
I am also starting to get hungry, as being by the sea always makes me feel ravenous. Always. So we choose a place to rest up for our picnic....see in the above pic, on the far right hand side, there are three benches on the sea wall there near the red life belt? We choose the middle bench and chow down. Brown bread sandwiches wrapped in tin foil, fruit, crisps, slabs of lemon drizzle cake, chocolate and a mug of steaming hot tea. The view makes it taste divine.
After lunch we take a little wander through the village, and I indulge in some blatant Housey Appreciation. I LOVE looking at houses, love examining the details.
LOve the cobbled pathways everywhere. I also fell madly in love with that sweet little coloured glass lantern, and I confess I had some Bad Thoughts about grabbing it and running away with it. Naughty, naughty.
We end up by the little village green and I remember these lovely benches from our visit before. I wish we had pretty benches like this in my town, with a picturesque landscape to rest ones back against.
We continue meandering, along Main Street, past a closed up bric-a-brac shop, a closed up cafe and a closed up diner, up the road and back to the hilltop where the car is parked. The view looks different to when we first arrived, less sea and more seaweedy sand. But still beautiful. I breathe deeply and inhale the air one last time before we head for home.
What a fabulous day. We return with sand in our boots, and some fabulous memories. Oh, and one solitary rock which is the result of Little B's beach combing activities. He refused to throw that one away, stuffed it hastily in his little coat pocket to bring home. A reminder of a day well spent.