Tuesday, 26 May 2015

A Breath of Sea Air

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   


  1. How lovely to spend Bank Holiday Monday by the sea and in such a beautiful location as Lyme. I know seagulls can be a pest but the seaside wouldn't be the same without them, I love to hear the seagull's cry when I am near the coast. I have a thing about beach huts and adore those you saw with their ice cream colours. Your post has made me long for our holiday in Devon but must wait until August for that. xx

  2. How absolutely lovely. E and I are off to Dorset for a few days soon - I'm hoping to visit Lyme Regis again and eat more cream teas than you can shake a stick at! Love the fishy bracelet and the idea of beachy crochet. Enjoy the rest of half term. xx

  3. Hello Cathy,, Thank you, thank you for so much for taking me with you
    on your Bank Holiday outing. I love the seaside and the fluffy white clouds are beautiful, as are the beach huts (somthing we do not have). The Marina looks so picturesque with the bobbing of the boats, and yes pleae to an ice cream.


  4. Hi Cathy I hope i'll come there to see those beautiful places!
    I enjoy the sea air!
    Have a nice afternoon!

  5. Oooh I just loved all of that visit from the skies to the pastel beach huts. Fantastic. x

  6. What a gorgeous day, I love it down there. I really l like the idea of a journal that you take along every year, I shall think about doing that this year. I really like the idea of blackcurrant and clotted cream ice-cream as well, yum. CJ xx

  7. Lovely post, we have stunning places to visit, not been to Lyme Regis for years.

  8. What a lovely post, so full of fun and family!

  9. What a perfect break, the photos are fantastic. Definitely the place for fishy bracelet wearing. Always nice to get away and relax and catch up on some crochet ;)

  10. The whole post looks so cool and wonderful - the sea, the breeze, the ice cream (of course). We are having a sweltering 104 degrees day. I can't even look at yarn.

  11. Such beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing, I've just finished The French Lieutenant's Woman and was fascinated to see Lyme in the flesh so to say, I've never been! I do love Seagulls :) and the journal idea is great, I might have to steal it :)

  12. Gorgeous photos and a lovely looking place to visit, I love the sea, the beach, just walking and collecting beach treasure, taking photos and enjoying the sounds :)

  13. Your trip to Lyme Regis looks fantastic! We haven't been that way for ages we must go again soon. Your sketch book is such a good idea, I love your fish bracelet too! Sarah x

  14. I miss the sea! You are lucky you go to spent such a wonderful day there :)

    Take care
    Anne (Crochet Between Worlds)


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