Nah, we stayed at home instead and had a jolly nice time thanks.
It was little P's birthday today, she was supposed to wake up in a tent in 'Winnie the Pooh' land at the heart of the Ashdown Forest but instead became 4 years old at home, nice and dry. After yesterday's down-pours we were so pleased with our decision, only feeling sorry for the camp site owners who must be living off deposits this year. The promised BBC forecast of bright sun and 18C didn't quite come true today, but do you know what? We were just grateful for no rain and a few hours on the beach. Simple pleasures.
Driving over the downs to catch the first glimpse of the sea blew me away, the hues of green and blue and turquoise glinted in the distance. I felt a lump in my throat, a little bit emotional at how beautiful and wild the view was, I couldn't wait to get down to the waters edge. The children were exploding with excitement as well, two buckets, a few pots, a spade and some sausages to fry, there were a moments of perfection today.
The children crouched in the rare patches of sand, absorbed in their intricate games, collecting pebbles, seaweed, flotsam and jetsam, the odd shell and smooth green glass - beer bottles made safe and gem like from months on the ocean wave. Squeals and screams as we all hoiked up our jeans as the waves caught us unawares, soaked in ice cold sea water, all giggling as we skimmed flat stones across the meniscus of the sea.
We fried sausages and ate them ravenous between cheap puffy bread roles, dripping with tomato ketchup and washed down with some equally cheap French beer, it all tasted so good and it was wonderful to be in that moment. To revel in the now, to feel the warmth on our cheeks and watch seagulls above us hover on the wind. After snoozes we sang 'Happy Birthday' and managed to light 4 candles stuck into a shop bought cake, second helpings all round and healthy eating happily left at home, discarded until tomorrow.
We found crabs, blobby anemones, shrimps and whelks, rock pool fish and limpets. Treasures of the sea delighted in and undisturbed.
Happy happy birthday darling P. My big little girl. I love you so much and can't wait to share the adventures of your fifth year on this astonishingly beautiful earth.