Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Sand and play.

You can never quite tell what a day will bring from how it begins can you? Yesterday as I made packed lunches in the kitchen the day was dull and cold, not very promising at all. Isabella raced from the bathroom where she had been brushing her teeth with Lucy, her face now crumpled and bellowing, "Lucy hurt myself on the nose!"
Lucy, quite oblivious to this great distress due to the fact that she had indeed had little to do with said nose, was busy communing with nature. Strange noises emitted from the bathroom which brought to mind how I imagine a drowning whale may sound.
"Eeeooh...ahhhhhhohh....ark, ark.." (now look, you get the drift)

"Lucy, what are you doing?"

"Talking to the birds through the window, Mummy"

" But they don't talk like that."

"Well, they're responding."

When will I learn how pointless it is to correct a Lucy?

Lunchtime saw the clouds disperse to be replaced by a hot and blazing sun and the chance for an after-school beach trip was here. We have not yet sorted the bag which sits in our car from now till late autumn, a bag full of towels and sun cream, buckets and spades, sketchbooks, playing cards and all the paraphanalia necessary for a family who virtually live on the beach. It is so much easier to have this ready should the chance arise than to waste time finding it all before heading off, but yesterday I only had a towel and the camera. No matter, I don't suppose the girls will go in the still icy water. Yeah, right...

The tide was out and we clambered over the rocks to the clean-washed sand beyond. Tights and shoes were cast aside. As the sun beat down, Isabella trailed after her sister into the shallows and then followed her as she leapt into a pool...up to her thighs; skirt now also removed.

They swooped and swirled across the smooth, golden sand like the seagulls wheeling high overhead, sheer pleasure and excitement in the voices ringing as one long slim pair of legs danced along with one much shorter, rounder pair. So what if the school uniform was soaked? Plenty of time for it to be washed and dried later, but these moments are precious and so much more important.

The light continued to shine down on the crystal water creating shadows out of the ripples breaking the surface in the oh-so-light breeze.

A mermaid's face of sea lettuce eyes and pebble nose, a tangle of hair and leaves dried in the sun for a mouth, was created by Lucy...

while our own little mermaid continued to run in and out of the water like some little sea-wraith, giggling as the cooler currents seeped slowly in.

Finally, after clambering back over the rocks to warm in the sun it was time to wave goodbye to the beach. We had passed a wonderful hour and a half, and now food was needed. Home to tea and a delicious drink of our elderflower cordial, a gallon of which we had somehow overlooked from last season's making. So flowery and evocative for us, like drinking memories if that makes any sense? I will post the recipe again on my website soon as it was so popular last year.

And so it seems the day that started so unpromisingly turned into a winner full of sea and sand and little girls' laughter. Just about perfect (and Isabella fell asleep within a moment of going to bed instead of calling out that she is just a 'little bit dead' as is so often her wont...sigh).

Have a lovely day x


  1. Please, please, someone publish Pip's gorgeous life soon, so that rest of us have something to read on cr*p days!

  2. Wish I had an embarassed emoticon thingy now...thanks though Chris x

  3. Do you do B & B? Gorgeous day, and more to come apparently - SOOO envious.

  4. What a gorgeous day's end. Bet they slept well too.

  5. Pip, I often find that some of the best days are the ones that just arent planned because there is no big build up and expectation which can so easily be dashed. I am very jealous that you can drop by the beach at any time (Im about 50mins away by car) but wonder if I lived closer would I ever get anything done. Have a lovely day (from a slightly overcast Scotland) - jacquix

  6. Oh Pipany

    How you make me want to hijack my husband from the usual daily grind and for us all to drive straight away down to the sea.

    I dont swim but i do love being close by it! My husband grew up in a seaside town in the north when he was a child and he often wishes he could move somewhere like that! But I will just have to content myself for the time being with your lovely wonderful photographs!

    Thanks X

  7. Hi Pipany, beautiful your pictures are so familiar even if we are the other side of the coast!!

    We haven't managed to even dip a toe in yet, but maybe come Easter??

    Come this time next year that will be my two little girls, one in her uniform (we got good news on the school front yesterday - yeah!) the other racing around.

    have a lovely day and hope the sun stays shining. It is here today, but very parky!

    Nina x

  8. Far too cold for paddling up here though it was a lovely day for hanging out washing on my new line.
    What a beautiful post Pip. Can we buy your life buy the pint??
    Please keep writing lots.
    A 'little bit dead'??? the mind boggles!

  9. that was just lovely, Pips. Envy leaking like mad from here too. At least you have hte sense to grab all you can from it and not just "mean" to do it.

  10. What a special time you have with your girls. If only it could be bottled and passed to others!! My little one is now 28 - but we both still treasure those days we spent collecting leaves, taking photos of the bluebells and generally just messing about in the fresh air!!

  11. What fun, beaches even on a windy day can be so perfect.

  12. I just wish I had your eye, your photos are always so perfect.
    Paddy, my youngest son, saw Lucy and Isabella on the beach. Said " hey that's a good idea" whipped his shorts on and has gone down for a paddle. He's 24 on Monday, never too old to play are they?
    We are on the Chyenhall Allotments on the way to Ponsanooth.


  13. Nothing like it, is there - the beach and a little one....bliss.
    Our beach would be covered in snow, if I were foolish enough to slide down the drive to go for a stroll today. Snow, snow and more snow.

  14. You Cornish folk kill me with your fabulous photography!! I wish everyday at some point that I lived in Cornwall. One day.

  15. Blissful....the girls look so happy. And the beach...summer in Cornwall here we come!
    D xxx

  16. Lovely. What a perfect end to a day. I particularly liked the comment about the soaked school uniform: "...these moments are precious and so much more important." Quite right. We keep our buckets and spades in the car all the year round. Once we were caught out by a sunny day during a shopping trip. Clothes, shoes and socks can be cast aside, but there's no substitute for the good old bucket and spade!
    (The bird-talking made me giggle too!)

  17. Thank you for all the lovely words and images. I could almost imagine being there on the beach with salty hair and rosy cheeks. I feel most exhilerated. I am sure I will sleep well tonight too!

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