Wednesday, 27 April 2011

I must go down to the sea again

So I was talking to a mother that I met in the street the other day. We were saying how tired our children had been before the Easter holiday; how ready they were to just relax. We were saying we hadn't done much at all with the lazy days, and how that was just what everyone needed.

"On one day," I said, "The Lattes watched Mamma Mia two-and-a-half times through."

She looked at me. She said something about day trips. I realised we were not having the same conversation at all.

And so it was that the next day, the one day that Mr Coffee was using the car, I decided that we should all get on a train and go to the beach. It wasn't far! It would be fun! Fun, that is, after I had stopped hyperventilating on the landing because I didn't know where the sunhats were. Fun, if you discount the fact that the buckets that were meant to go with the spades were actually in the garden full of spent fireworks from last November. Fun, if you like trying to push a wheelchair whilst carrying a rucksack, a pair of crutches and a bag full of sandwiches. Fun, after I had gone out into the world and shouted "If we stop every minute to look at your foot we will never catch this train" so loudly that a woman in a parked car wound her window up.

But we made it, in the end, and were soon sitting on the beach enjoying our picnic. Luckily for me, Joseph Heler had sent me a delicious parcel full of free cheese, and I was finding that their White Cheshire cheese with ham and a bit of Uncle Roy's cherry sauce that my mother had brought back from holiday was a very fine sandwich indeed.

Well, it was until a child threw some sand in it.

We couldn't get very far onto the beach because you can't go very far with a wheelchair on sand before the wheels stop going round. And then you have to stay quite close to where you abandoned it, because though surely no human being would steal a child's wheelchair you would be extremely b*ggered if they did, and you really don't feel like taking the risk.

It all just added to the excitement, because we were so far from the actual sea that we lost sight of where Littlest was paddling every five minutes. These little adrenalin rushes where we thought we had lost her kept Eldest and I on our toes. Eldest went for a bit of a paddle but not much of a one, because I had all our valuables stuffed into my pockets so I couldn't leap right into the water if she stumbled and began to drown.

(I took a book! How ridiculous was that? As if I thought I was going to get a rest!)

Still, seawater was experienced. A bucket of candyfloss was annihilated. A tick was placed in the box marked 'Day trips', and another step towards a successful Easter was made.

(Don't forget I'm giving away marshmallows and aprons on the last post! There's still time to enter.)


  1. I fall into the Mamma Mia camp more frequently than I care to admit.

    We did a walk-to-the-beach day at my parents' house. Only ours was pebbly and I fell over and realised that wet rocks and grip free sandals are a bad combination. The children asked for shoulder rides, but I value my ankles more highly than that.

  2. Full marks for bravery then. It had never occurred to me about wheelchairs and beaches being almost mutually exclusive. That sounds like an enormous pain.

  3. Pass the DVD - that's exhausting just reading it!

    We have beautiful Norfolk beaches but they aren't quite near enough to make it an easy drive (hour and a half or more and shitty traffic to contend with). It doesn't help that the boy won't get up until midday on holidays. We end up doing nothing and then I feel guilty - nobody else seems to mind though.

    Off to hunt for marshmallows!

  4. I just love your blog, your humour is brilliant x keep up the good work!

  5. Trish - you're right - no-one minds but us!

    And I wish my children would sleep till midday...

  6. When I was single and lived in Florida, my friend and I would lie on the sand and talk about how much fun we would have bringing our kids to the beach. And then we had kids and took them.

  7. I make it a rule never to do day-trips. School holidays are a holiday from school not an opportunity for full on entertainment provided by mum. Mamma Mia also had at least one outing in my house.

  8. As tiring as it sounds I bet the Lattes had a lot of fun.

  9. I wish my children would sit through Mamma Mia 2 and a half times.
    Unfortunately they are at an age where they pester me to do stuff until I get to the point where I shout "I only have one pair of hands, you know, I can only do ONE THING AT ONCE!" so loudly I'd be surprised if you couldn't hear me where you live.

  10. I am exhausted just reading this. Still, now you have a trip to the beach to look back on --

  11. are you still finding sand in everything.....

  12. You got to the seaside. I got to the swings across the road. We TALKED about the National Trust farm. In the end we did sandpit in the garden. Oh and Mamma Mia.

  13. What do they say about art? 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration? Well, daytrips im my book are 10% (if that) relaxation and 90% perspiration. It's still worth it, sometimes. But not too often.

  14. I think all blog ladies should get together, plunk their children in front of Mamma Mia, and then proceed to spend the next two hours gorging and boozing and just generally having the best time ever. Yes?

  15. Experienced seawater is a very good thing. And just to mix poets; whatever we find, a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find at the sea.

    Have you seen this video: I love it, and bought the CD, but somehow songs made to be lullabies are somewhat sleep inducing. Go figure?

  16. Okay, I can't quote for nuts. Lucky, I don't want nuts. "for whatever we *lose*..."

    Also, yes. You are a goddess.

  17. we took the boys for a walk.

    When we said let's go for a walk boys they looked at us as if suddenly we'd asked them to hack their toes with a nail file.

    Do you think it's possible that all three were swapped at birth?

  18. I leave my mother's wheelchair outside shops. (She can walk enough to come inside with us.) I refuse to believe that anyone would steal it. On the other hand, it belongs to the National Health and we don't need it that much, so I see your point.

    Well done you, anyway.

    I wish I could get my children back from their adulthood and take them on a trip. Sigh.

  19. I think if it was where I think it was you did right to keep hold of your valuable.


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