What a week! A week in my favourite place in the world, a breezy sunlit corner of the North East, where the sand is clean and creamy-golden, where the sea is a stormy slate grey most of the year round, and life is just a little simpler. Home again now, sleeping in my own bed and surrounded by the familiar rainbow chaos, I dream of packing everything up and finding a stone cottage up there in my heart's home...
A week of rambling and exploring and most of all breathing the cold salt air. My soul calls to the sea, and it tugs at me wherever I am. How ironic that I have grown up, and live now, as far from the sea as it's possible to get on this little wave-washed island!
Lindisfarne visits and taking rubbings.
And swimming every day in the little indoor pool at the farm where we stay - luxury itself to be able to throw towels and damp gear in a bag at any time of day and just take off to exhaust the children in hours of swimming! In a week, Morgan has become an excellent swimmer, and Jenna can now dive cleanly and strongly. Talia jumps in from the side when we call her to us. Waterbabies all.
But most of all, the beaches. Each and every one a little paradise in spite of the chill.
I cannot make that baby wear a hat. It is sorely distressing me, and the Northern cold bluster driving us all into our warmest layers still doesn't persuade her. Here she is, cross, having pulled off her little cap for the hundredth time. I just can't convince myself that she isn't cold when we are all shivering, and she is convinced that every hat on offer is an affront on her baby dignity.
At the end of the week, my birthday, beginning with a rainbow candle on the table and birthday brownies baked by Jenna. A long swim, our last of the trip, and then lunch out in a lovely little cafe.
A goodbye to the coast and the tranquillity here. 28 times around the sun, and this day spent between two places that I can call "home" - just about perfect. How very blessed I am! Tired but happy: