I really love the first-trip-to-see-the-sea that we always make on our first morning in Dorset. As you can see, this year the sky was very very blue, the sun was very very bright but I tell you the air was very very cold indeed. It was absolutely freeeezing.
The weather stayed bitterly cold all week with a terrific wind blowing, but it didn't stop us getting out and about. We wrapped up in warm layers and made the most of being outdoors in the countryside and beside the sea.
The harbour at West Bay was as lovely as ever, full of jaunty, boaty goodness.
I love this little patch of a place so much, my childhood memories come flooding back each time I revisit.
We ambled out along the pier, J and I strolling, the Little People zooming on their scooters, and Little B running, climbing and jumping. It was very bright and breezy. Oh that breeze was something else. Thank goodness for my hat, I really loved my hat last week (well I love it every week).
After being buffeted along the pier and back, we headed back around the harbour to seek out some refreshment. The Watch House cafe is situated right on the shingle beach and is a pretty wonderful place to spend time eating and drinking. We braved the wind and sat out on the decking, soaking up the sunshine and listening to the waves crashing onto the shore.
Revived by my carrot cake and cappuccino, I ran down the shingle bank with the Little People, wheeeeeeeeeeeee all the way down to the sea (it's a steep bank! and I really did go wheeeeeeee!)
We walked back and forth, playing silly games and inspecting the flotsam and jetsam.
I love to see footprints in the freshly seawashed sand, especially my own.
And I love sitting my bottom down on sunwarmed shingle and immersing myself in the sights, smells and sounds of the sea.
But bestest of all, I like to lay myself down and have every single bit of my body in contact with the beach. I like it very, very much. I love being horizontal on the beach, like really adore it. The Little People tell me I'm a weirdo for lying down when not one single other person on the entire beach is lying down. But I tell them I do not care because I love it and that's all that matters.
When I was a little girl I used to be so in love with that pink house on the edge of the shingle. I used to fantasize about living there, about sleeping in that room with the little window in the rooftop looking out to sea. Wouldn't that be something?
Last week we visited our most favourite places, the places that we are drawn to time and time again during each of our visits to Dorset.
This is Eggardon Hill, a scenic high up place with deep ancestry. Usually the view looks glorious at Easter time, all green and golden, but this year it was extremely bleak looking.
There was a howling, biting wind and it was incredibly cold, but we had the best time up here. Somehow the extreme weather made it feel very exhilarating. It was wild! The Little People ran headlong into the force of the wind, marvelling at how it made their bodies work twice as hard. They ran up and down, up and down. It was such fun to watch them.
Although the temperature made it feel very much like the depths of winter, there were welcome signs of spring in the hedgerows. The little clumps of pale yellow primroses made me smile whenever I saw them.
We ventured out every day, and felt lucky that it stayed dry all week. It's pretty straightforward to cope with the cold really, adding extra layers under coats and keeping hats and gloves firmly in place.
The beaches were pretty much deserted and that suited me just fine. We enjoyed some wonderful, blustery walks along the shore at Burton with only a few hardy dog walkers for company.
My holiday hooky gave me a lot of pleasure last week, it was lovely working with these super-pretty and very spring like colours when the weather was so un spring like. This is a fabulous yarn called "Cotton On" by James C Brett, and I'm using it to make a liner for a new/old wicker basket I bought a few weeks ago. I should have it finished soon, I'll show you when it's done.
Funny looking at these pictures cos it looks like it could be scorching hot doesn't it? Don't be fooled, it was blinkin' freezing.
Despite the bitter cold, we packed a picnic and headed to St Catherines Chapel for an alfreso lunch.
I write about this place every year, so you probably know about it by now. You will know that J and I lay a blanket down in the shelter of the wall there under the window and allow the Little People to run riot.
We listen to them hollering inside, watch them appear and disappear as they circumnavigate the building a hundred million times at great speed.
It's such a beautiful, peaceful, contemplative place, and I frequently wonder what it would feel like without the boisterous, noisy soundtrack of my children? Would there be silence? The sound of doves cooing gently (there were two white doves nesting inside the chapel)? The sound of the wind?
I wonder if there will ever come a time when they visit this place and don't yell or run?
The sea is always a remarkable turquoise colour when seen from St Catherine's Chapel. I LOVE that colour so much, it is the colour of my soul you know. And lunch tasted delicious.
We had a good week. It was lovely to spend time with my family, and there is much that I haven't shared here. Lengthy pub lunches, lazy afternoons and evenings by the sea. Woodland and riverside walks, toy shops and wool shops and playgrounds. Time spent with parents, siblings, nephews. Time spent chatting and playing with the Little People.
The Little People played together really well for the most part. No television, no internet, no gaming devices. Just themselves and the space they found themselves in. It did us all good to be removed from technology for a week, although at times I did find myself wishing for it. Just a little.
Back home now, and surprisingly I am not pining for the sea. Very unsual! I was glad to come home actually, glad to return to our cosy, messy, scruffy, warm, colourful home.
J is back to work this week, so I am home with the Little People, easing myself gently back into homely routine.Which mainly consists of dealing with the endless dirty laundry and attempting to tidy up a little. Sigh. I wish I loved housework as much as I love holidays.
Edit to add :: a couple people have mentioned the current ITV drama "Broadchurch" which was indeed filmed on location at West Bay. I've only watched the first episode, it was a little unreal to see David Tennant strolling about in "my" patch!!!