Yes I know the weather forecast said rain with maybe some sunny spells but my sister was down with her youngest son so off we headed to the beach with raincoats or as Enid Blyton would have no doubt said sou'westers and wellies, picnics of sardine and chilli sandwiches (our favourite) or for the littler ones sausage sandwiches, crisps, chocolate covered flapjacks and Nanna best chocolate cake and of course flasks for tea and coffee.
Today's adventure was full of stone throwing, how far could we throw, and skimming them across the freshwater pool that sits at the top of the beach. Child 4's throwing is pretty spectacular but he had yet to understand the nuance of skimming a stone across the top of a calm pool, all the other children skimmed to their hearts content trying to outdo each other with the number of stone to water touches they could achieve before gravity won, taking the smooth flat stones into the watery depths of the pool. From there we headed off on our usual walk looking for crabs and fossils but today's exciting find was russet red anemones their tentacles waving in the warm waters of the rock pools until we tried to touch them and the tentacles disappear. We spotted loads of them hiding out under rocky overhangs in the rock pools as we scrambled and explored our way to the metal steps that take us up to the cliff top.
My sister chatted about how none of us ever seem to bore of this beach, when the children are tiny they are happy to just potter along, learning the art of rock hopping, pool splashing, mud slurping and rock and shell collecting, then at primary age KS1 they love exploring the pools finding sea creatures of the weird and wonderful, stepping on the seaweed air pockets making them pop and hunting for fossils, this spills into brave forays up the cliff sides and down to the sea, navigating the slippery green seaweed and sticky mud flats as they bloom into KS2. Then they race across the rocks tempting each other to more dangerous endeavours, wider pools to jump, higher rocks to climb and they build rock cities and damns. The older teenagers still seem to enjoy the clam outing over the rocks, looking for the best way to make our way along the coast but they wander, somewhat aimlessly chatting and catching up with a camaraderie full of teasing laughter that makes us parents and grandparents smile.
All in all I truly believe that there is magic here, a magic that makes us all slow down and enjoy the pleasures of being family.