Summer on the Beach

Last nights paella was spectacular. Served with large prawns and scallops, a very well engineered, gastric delight! We used to summer in Spain when Johns mum and sister owned an apartment there many years back. It was near Marbella on the Costa del Sol. We ate paella a lot and I can, with hand on heart say that our host far exceeded anything that we have previously savoured.

Today’s adventure was exhausting. Our hosts and their two dogs were followed by us in the car. Our destination Sidmouth, was a twenty five minute drive. We parked, crossed the road and walked down to the pebble and sand beach, to the west of the town centre. The beach is flanked at the rear by enormous, red sandstone cliffs. Jurassic in age, this coastline is well known by fossil hunter and happy, beach going tourist alike. The dogs loved it, the children loved it, we all loved it. Though I have to say that we forgot to bring towels. A big mistake, but with the sun shining and the temperature in the early twenties, they all dried off in the end. You’ve got it! – the further along the beach we walked, the more confident the children were to embracing the waters edge. The waves weren’t particularly big to begin with, but they were on the tidal side of high. The beach was slowly getting smaller and smaller and the children were starting to run into the water more frequently. They were all soaked through within fifteen minutes of arrival and ringing wet, de-shoed and topless by the time we reached twenty. At thirty minutes we had to give up on that beach and were walking along the cliff side coastal path to the second beach. This one was closer to the town. The sun was hot and there was not a cloud in the sky. We had a further two hours of sand castle making, climbing the granite boulders (to the rear of the beach) and just having a good time in general. We’re back at the holiday house now, de-sanded and showered. I am thinking back to the last Time we were ‘on the beach’, it was this summer in Antibes in the south of France. The children were all in their swimming costumes and armbands. A little more glamorous than Sidmouth perhaps, Antibes warm, Mediterranean waters were Azur Blue and very inviting. We all loved the pool at the villa, they were in for a couple of hours each day and I am so glad everyone now has the confidence to just get in and start splashing around. Though being fully clothed today, maybe they had a little bit too much confidence. Note to ones self ‘Always bring towels’.

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A Gay Dad reflecting on life in the Shires of England with my not so famous five and two rapscallion Dalmatian hounds

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