Yesterday we went off on a little jaunt to the seaside. P, D and I got up a little earlier than usual and headed off for the south coast. Past Somerset orchards and on into Dorset through soft, rolling hills and red-earthed fields full of growing crops. Swallows and swifts swooped overhead as we drove past meadows glowing with buttercups and along country roads lined with lacy cow parsley. As we neared the coast we went through leafy lanes edged with native bluebells and passed gardens full of brightly-coloured rhododendrons. It felt good to be alive!
We arrived in Lyme Regis at mid-morning and headed for the beach, buying take-away coffees on the way. Once there, we spread out our blanket on the pebbles, looked around us at the view, breathed in deeply and relaxed.
It was an overcast day - warm, and with occasional bursts of sunshine which were very warm indeed. Looking at these photos it looks quite grey, but the light was actually bright. As we were at the seaside I'd worn my fishy bracelet - one I made a while ago from blue and green glass beads.
Gulls were everywhere and, like some of our favourite places in Cornwall, they are quite aggressive, stealing people's chips and pasties as they eat them. However, they are synonymous with the seaside and their cries are part of the soundtrack of the beach.
The skies were full of fluffy cumulous clouds, many of them quite grey, but no rain threatened.
As is traditional I'd taken my yarny things along with me ready for a bit of crochet, while P swam (too chilly for my liking) and D went shopping.
I made some little flowers in shades of blue and emerald.
As I crocheted I took in the view stretching away to my left. The cliffs of Dorset's 'Jurassic Coast' undulated along the horizon and were lit up every once in a while as the sunlight caught them.
I had brought with me my seaside journal in which I've been recording our coastal visits for 7 years now, detailing our day trips and holidays. There are little sketches in it too, including a couple done for me by the children when they were younger. It's fun to look back at it, not just to marvel at how much our family has grown up, but also to see a common pattern of beach-visits: the sights, sounds and smells of the coast and the way I feel when I'm by the sea are all repeated in those pages. They have a rhythm which is reassuring in its repetition.
After pasties for lunch we had ice-creams on the beach, blackcurrant and clotted cream for me - a real treat.
Soon a gentle stroll was in order, so we set off along the seafront, and I looked at the houses and cottages.
A mix of styles, including thatched cottages, they rambled along the beach in light-reflecting pastel colours.
We had been sitting on the stony part of the beach which is painful to the feet but closer to the shops and covered in interesting pebbles and hag stones (stone with holes in them). However there is a sandy part which is much busier and full of families.
We passed this and headed for the famous Cobb, immortalised in two novels: Jane Austen's 'Persuasion' and John Fowles' 'French Lieutenant's Woman'. A long, curving sea defence and harbour wall, a stroll along it enables you to view the town from the sea.
By now the tide had gone out and the little boats all lay on their sides in the wet sand.
At points along the Cobb there are sets of stone steps which enable you to walk along the top of it and look down at the sea on the other side.
I have mentioned before that I do not have a head for heights, and know from experience that the top of the Cobb is not for me, so I left P and D to wander up there while I took a look at the Granny's Teeth steps. I had to wait to take this photo as some children were climbing down these precipitous stairs which are very photogenic, but not user-friendly
Towards the end of the Cobb there's a wonderful view of the cliffs and sea. It must be quite a different scene on a stormy day.
It was time to go home, and we wandered back along the rows of beach huts. I tried not to be nosy, but it's almost impossible not to look inside the open ones as we passed. Many had little tables and chairs with breezy curtains and seaside-themed accessories. It all looked very cosy and appealed to the shed-decorator in me.
It was miraculous that I managed to get these shots as there were lots of holiday-makers around. Looking at them now, it looks deserted! I do love the ice-cream colours of the huts - so pretty and fresh.
Thank you for joining me on our day-trip - I hope you enjoyed the sea air and lovely views. I'm off to make a cup of tea now and finish my crochet.
See you soon x