This week we spent a lovely afternoon in the garden enjoying the sunshine and making the most of the new garden swing and paddling pool. Simple pleasures and a blissfully happy time enjoying each other's company. It was such a treat to cool off in the paddling pool but it's not quite the same as being by the sea, so plans were made and bucket and spade packed in preparation for the following day.
Friday morning arrived and it was a beautiful warm and sunny day. Not a cloud in the sky. A short drive and we were there.
Being a weekday the beach was fairly quiet. A few people were out flying kites, walking their dogs or just enjoying being at the seaside, making sandcastles, paddling in the sea and collecting shells.
The light cool breeze from the sea was a welcome relief from the heat but required a reminder to myself to top up with sun cream as it belied the strength of the sun.
Being by the sea has a calming and restorative effect on me which has been much needed this week. The salty air, waves gently lapping the shore and the feeling of sand between my toes immediately transported me back to holidays and carefree childhood days. Not much can beat walking barefoot on the beach, that moment when you first dip your toes in the water, then relaxing on a blanket gazing out to sea in quiet contemplation, although I was heard to comment that an ice cold glass of Pinot Grigio wouldn't have gone amiss!
The beach is also a place where Lily is wonderfully relaxed. Running in and out of the waves, scrambling on the rocks and playing in the sand, and I can take it easy knowing she is quite safe.
At high tide we took a short break from the beach to enjoy our picnic lunch, following a path which led us up above the shore to a wide grassy area on the cliff top with beautiful views of the horizon, returning only after treating ourselves to ice cream - chocolate, with chocolate sauce and sprinkles for me.
The afternoon was spent in much the same way as the morning. We were enjoying ourselves so much I was surprised at just how quickly the time had passed before we reluctantly made our journey home again.
In Lily's words it was 'a cracking day!'