9 May 2014
We arrive to cold salty breezes and heavy mist, and a beautiful warm cottage with a cozy log fire.
Ashleigh brings quilting with her, and we bring our usual chaos and noise (I can't think of many people who would cope with a week living with us as patiently)!
We fit in every last museum and historic site we can manage, and explore them all with the same enthusiasm. I love how happily they welcome newness. I'm sure the nature and content of such adventures will change, in time, and I wonder if I will miss it - those future days when they perhaps say, "No thanks, mum, we'd rather stay in!"
On one particularly grey day, we took a boat out to see the seals. In spite of the mist, it is magical. The two smallest ones fall asleep on the way back in to harbour, the fog like a grey curtain obscuring the sea wall until the last possible moment.
The pool is the reason we come back to these same cottages over and over - free swimming means we swim every day, sometimes more than once. Rowan went from non-swimmer to confident widths of the pool without arm bands. Morgan went from beginner swimmer to confident lengths and competent diving.
All of them have chance to ride, something we put off last time as Rowan's age meant the insurance wouldn't cover her. Jenna and Morgan are both astonishingly confident on horseback. We live on a council estate just outside a town centre. We rarely even *see* horses day to day. I am so grateful that their experiences and adventures are barely limited by our townie existance.
But most of all, we come here for the sea.
The English seaside is, I think, most lovely of all in shades of grey and palest yellow. When the sea is steely and wild, and the sky is still and heavy. It appeals to the poet in me.
We go barefoot, and the sea is lukewarm and gentle in spite of how untamed and fierce it appears further out.
When the clouds race away, we have sudden seeping heat, and bluest blue skies. We build a sand castle as the tide turns and watch until the sea carries away every trace of it.
Right at the end of the week, Rowan starts to say that she misses home and wants to come back and see her chickens. I feel like I could have stayed another week - in fact I'm rather missing swimming every day. But home is good, too. :)