:: DAY 1 ::
Weather report ~ cold with a stormy grey sky, although miraculously no rain.
Very similar to our last visit in August 2011 the weather on the first day of our holidays looked a bit grim. The sky was ominously dark and grey and we felt sure we would be in for a downpour at any minute.
We journey to Dorset in the evening, arriving late in the dark, and always my very first thought upon waking on Day 1 is that we must get down to the sea. Quick smart, no matter what the weather, we must get to the sea. It's become something of a ritual for us, this first trip to the coast, it's less than 10 minutes drive to West Bay from where we stay at my Dad's house and I honestly cannot tell you how very much I look forward to it. It's my Day-1-sea-fix.
10am and there we were, striding/scootering/toddling out along the pier to breathe it all in. Brrrrrrrrr it was cold though! There was a damp feel to the air (very autumnal actually), and it really chilled through our clothes. But oh, the air smelt divine to me, that familiar fresh, salty tang that fills me with joy every-single-time. And the light was rather incredible, sort of dramatic and unpredictable. Cos although it looked incredibly stormy, there were some wonderful shafts of distant sunlight alighting on the landscape. And no rain came to us either. We could literally see it falling further round the bay, but it never made it as far as our patch. We were blessed I think.
If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you will know these boaty scenes well by now. I never tire of this amble around the harbour, not ever. The sight of the boats bobbing gently on the water, the sweet familiarity of it, the fact that it remains so unchanged across the decades, I just love it all. It spells Childhood to me, takes me back to my own Little Years in an instant.
I am a bit lost for words all of a sudden. How beautifully boaty this picture is?! My heart is squeezing at the sight of it, I feel like I could still be there.
I have to tell you that Little B also loved the boats. It was great fun having him with us this holiday as he is a jolly good little walker now, and his speech is coming on a treat. He's still just using single words (he can say "boat" beautifully), and I just loved to hear him exclaim and point out everything he could see and name.
We are into the afternoon now, I put my camera away while we went to my favourite cafe on the beach for morning coffee, then off to a country pub for a delightful chatty, lengthy (rather boozy) family lunch.
My brother and his family were also visiting, so after the aforementioned lengthy lunch we found ourselves back down at the bay, pootling about with them.
My sister-in-law decided that it should be crabbing time, do you remember me telling you about this last summer? Such fun for the Little Peeps! Thirteen crabs were caught, admired, inspected, chatted to, then released back into their watery abode.
While the crabbing went on (and it was quite a long crabbing session), I wandered off by myself for a little bit of salty me-time.
I took myself onto the rolling shingle of East beach, lay myself down on my back, arms and legs stretched wide and eyes closed. I took in the sound of the waves crashing in and the gulls screeching overhead, the faint sounds of shouting children and a barking dog. I probably looked very daft indeed, but I did not care. It was quite delightful.
:: DAY 2 ::
Weather report ~ wet, wet, wet. Blustery winds and pouring rain all day.
My brother was leaving that morning, so we had arranged an early 9.30 rendezvous back at the Watchhouse cafe for a family breakfast. We are a large party (8 adults and 5 children) and we took over two tables. The cafe was warm, fragrant and busy, the windows cosily steamed up with rivulets of rain coursing down the outside. Great coffee and super poached eggs on toast. Mmmmm.
With the weather preventing us from doing Outdoorsy things, we took the Little People to sample the delights of Indoorsy things. West bay is charmingly unspoilt, and there isn't much in the way of Amusements. But this dinky little place has been there forever, and it remains sweetly old fashioned and rather full of nostalgia.
The Little People were captivated by the Tuppenny Falls, so we gave them £1 each converted into 2p's (50 coins) and let them at it. Little Man kept his going for ages, feeding them strategically into the machine and waiting excitedly for them to finally tumble over the edge. Great whoops of joy when the machine spit out a handful of coins, which were then promptly fed back into the machine. All good fun.
The afternoon passed slowly. We spent the time at Lady B's, cosy and warm indoors while the rain continued to fall. Her garden always looks so lush and beautiful no matter what the weather.
In actual fact, a whole afternoon cosy indoors with Little People happily occupied was quite blissful. I settled myself at the table and immersed myself in circular hooky bliss while the LP discovered the joys of Monopoly. Little Lady, almost 8 years old now, was new to the game and it was really lovely listening in to Little Man's careful explanations of the rules and helpful guidance as she learnt the skill. It was a long game (2 hours), and they thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so that the very next day we went and bought one for ourselves. We are not a gaming family (I actually really cannot stand to play board games, never have done) but in recent times J has introduced Scrabble to the Little People, and now evening games of Monopoly have become a regular occurance. Little Man is quite a skilled Monopoliser it seems, not sure if that's a good thing or not?!
My holiday hooky has been quite wonderful, I'm so enjoying this yarn and these colours. The simplicity of this circular pattern (which you can find a tutorial for here) makes it a very relaxing pastime. I think I could quite happily crochet circles forever.
ps more holiday tales to follow tomorrow with Days 3&4, thank you for indulging me ♥