A winter trip to the seaside is a very popular past time, especially on clear, crisp days such as those we are having currently. Blowing away those cobwebs and letting the children explore and burn off their excess energy seemed like a good plan for the day, so yesterday we headed off to Hunstanton (aka Sunny Hunny) with the boot of the car jam packed with wellies, waterproofs, a picnic and spare clothes for the children. (You would think at the ages of 3 and 6 we might be able to travel a bit lighter with the children, but it would seem not!)
As soon as we arrived, we all put on our warm things and wellies and headed straight for the beach. The tide was coming in, but there was still plenty of sand left on the main beach for walking on. The children waded into the water, keen to test out their new waterproof trousers, and we followed (slightly less keen on getting we than them)! The trousers were thankfully quite effective, despite the children playing wave roulette and seeing how high up their wellies the water would go. Once we had wandered down the beach, exploring the rocks and shells and so on as well as paddling, my 6 year old announced that he only had one glove now. We turned around and retraced our steps, and discovered a very soggy and unfortunate looking glove at the water’s edge. (Said glove has now been washed, ready for the cold weather which is predicted for the UK in the next week.) Before we left the beach, the children both had a go at ‘digging like dogs’ (sand everywhere!) and finding the largest mussel shells they could to use as digging shells. We hadn’t taken buckets and spades as we thought it would be too cold, but the children were hardier than we thought!
After that, we walked along the promenade to the end, where you can go down the steps and walk along the foot of the cliffs. Because the tide was in, there was only a small piece of beach here, but we still managed to explore a little and see the pigeons clinging onto the cliff face. By this point the children were adamant that it must be picnic time.
We strolled back to the car, unpeeled the layers of waterproofs and enjoyed a car picnic. An outdoor picnic would have been lovely, but a flock of seagulls were circling and we didn’t fancy being divebombed. Once we were all full up, we went to the bowling alley for the children’s first ever game of bowling. It was great fun, and quite competitive. (Our son won, something he is still reminding us about today!) We went to the arcade for a little go on the 2p machines, and then our 3 year old had a meltdown. I think she must have been a bit tired!
We decided that perhaps it was time to return to the car and make our way home. The journey was a little quieter than on the way there as Little Miss went to sleep quite quickly. (On the way there she had been singing a made up song about being a hungry spider on a wall who wanted to eat a bumble bee.)
Why have I shared this seemingly ordinary family day out? Because this year has been full of sadness so far, not always very close to us, but close enough to make us reflect on how we spend our time. On Friday, Mr C and I sadly attended the funeral of one of his relatives, and beside the memory book was a little sign, which read ‘Collect memories, not things’. It stirred up something inside us both, and made us want to make the most of his extra day off. We had the best day as a family, and each of us made some special memories of the fun we had together.
I thought I would post about this as a reminder that pleasure can be found in the simplest of things-sharing an especially pretty rock, giggling together as someone gets splashed by an unexpectedly large wave, celebrating a victory in a family game of bowling or adding new verses to a completely made up song and laughing until you nearly cry. These are things to treasure, to remember and smile about on days when things are tough.
(singing on the way there, crying on way home), making memories, enjoying family time.