We have been to the sea side – which we do like to be beside.
Beside the sea.
The children and I packed up all our assorted gubbins, which were many and varied, and hitched our wagon to granny and granddads’s for a few days of crunchy picnics, sand in the undercarriage and ice creams as big as your face.
We went to Southwold in Suffolk, which is rather delightful.
Especially in what has been spectacular weather.
Uncle Robber and I used to go to Southwold for many years with mum and dad when we were small. I’ve been back a few times since I have been a grown up, but it has become increasingly popular and glamorous, which means that it has also become increasingly expensive. And I am neither glamorous, nor rich, although I am expensive.
The last time I was there, Tallulah was two, and had a mortal fear of sand, which we only discovered upon taking her to the beach. I had one toddler screaming her face off every time I tried to put her onto the shingle, and one, (Tilly, aged five) haring towards the sea with no fear whatsoever. It was a little stressful.
This time, thankfully, Tallulah had comprehensively conquered her fear of sand, and it was Oscar who was having to get used to the peculiarities of being British at the sea side.
He was doing pretty well on day one, until Tallulah threw a bucket of water in his face – whereupon he roared and wailed like a stuck pig. We exhorted him to man up and get his own back on her. His wimpishness in the face of his sister’s fierce disregard for danger meant that an assault by him promptly turned into a retreat by him, at which point he fell face down in the water. He roared and wailed like a banshee. Coming up the beach to tell us his woes, he fell over again and roared and wailed etc…
I’m afraid we were suitably unsympathetic, and merely snorted with laughter at his small, sandy and outraged face.
Day two was better for Oscar. He finally got into the swing of things and managed to exact revenge against sisters everywhere.
On top of beach activities, including a passable picnic, complete with sandy blanket and a great deal of crunchiness, we did the classic seaside activities. We ate vast amounts of ice cream (rhubarb and stem ginger being my particular favourite); ate fish and chips, went on the pier, played on the slot machines and wandered up and down the prom.
No brass bands – but I will forgive them.
We did not have time to go crabbing, which is a shame, because I do love it. Nor did we have time to go on the boating lake, or play pitch and putt, or go on the carousel, but we have pencilled it in for next year.
I have returned home to do laundry and watch the weather deteriorate into a soggy mess. My utility room is full of sand. My washing machine is full of sand. My children are full of sand.
All is as it should be.