Yesterday, both Hubby and I had a rare day off together. Being parents, we never get to be spontaneous – everything is planned to military precision. But we hadn’t planned for a sunny Sunday where we were both available at the same time, and with no plans, we decided to take a trip to the beach.
Living in Somerset, UK, means we are never far from the coast. The nearest beach is maybe an hour and half away, tops. We never go though – mainly because our days off together are usually on miserable, cold days in the middle of the school-term when there are no weddings or book releases. So, we piled two excited children into the car, threw some spare clothes, suncream and snacks into a bag, and played the ‘Left-Right Game’.
The ‘Left-Right Game’ is something Hubby used to play with his mum and sister when they were little. They would get in the car and just drive in a straight line until they came to a junction, and then take it in turns to decide whether to go left or right and see where they ended up. It’s been a long time since we last played it. At first we ended up stuck in traffic, and it wasn’t long before the snacks and drinks were all finished. Eventually we found our way to Lyme Regis. Unfortunately everyone seemed to have the same idea, so we turned around and continued along the Jurassic Coast, sight-seeing and sea-spotting.
By the time we found a parking space at West Bay we were hot, tired, desperate for the toilet and starving-hungry. We ignored the beach and headed straight for the nearest cafe, and found one inside an open-top emporium. With the wind rushing through the open doors, and nets above our heads because there was no roof, we settled into a corner and waited half an hour for the food to arrive. Stomachs grumbling, children whining, we started to wonder if we’d made the right decision, or if we should have gone to the fish and chip bar on the pier instead. But I have to say, when the food arrived, it was definitely worth the wait.
Hubby went for a towering burger with bacon and onion rings, girl-child had chicken nuggets, which were just slabs of chicken breast that had been deep-fried, and they even made fussy-boy a special burger of his own – small enough for his little hands, and absolutely plain with nothing but ketchup and a side of baked beans. I was drawn to the mussels though. They had been freshly caught and cooked in white wine and cream, and the bowl was so over-loaded with the shellfish that I couldn’t finish it all! If you’re headed to West Bay at any time, I would highly recommend visiting Sins at the Bay.
After lunch, we went into one of the little shops and kitted the kids out in Crocs (I am ashamed, but they are good for paddling in the sea), buckets, spades, and a crabbing kit. I grew up fishing on the River Trent, but I’ve never been crabbing before, so it was a new experience for me. Hubby took the small-people down to the waves and let them have a splash while I bathed my legs and dusty feet (pebble beach) in the glorious sunshine.
And then we went crabbing. We didn’t catch anything, but just spending some time with the children without technology (apart from a phone to take photos) was much needed, and left us excited about our upcoming holiday to Majorca.