Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Time and space (3) - the wonder of a bucket and spade holiday

The holiday is coming...

With my job, as a family we have been fortunate to experience some of the most luxurious holiday destinations. However, for all of that, I realise that we will never beat a bucket and spade holiday here in Blighty. It's our Lyme time. Lovely Lyme.

I never really understood the way some families returned year on year to the same destination... until I had children. To create security, memories, happiness, traditions. A routine family time away from routine family time.

Here are two pieces I wrote a couple of years ago worked up and merged. I hope they sum up the wonderful time we enjoy whilst there, and the space Lyme Regis affords us each year...


It's evening when we arrive. 
Light may be fading, and we are all tired, but our welcome is a bright and cheery sight...
Bunting triangles deck the sky, 
Zig-zagging a nautical blue and white, at height, 
Tacking cheerily back and forth across the Dorset twilight. 

I can’t wait to see the place I harbour such affection for tomorrow, bathed in sunshine. 
This place, this British town, beside the seaside, beside the sea.

Out the car, 
Smell the tide.  
Shout hooray,
Bleary eyed.
Look to the harbour. 
And fishing boats,
Resting now, 
Heave up and down, 
Stern and bow. 

The sailing masts talk to each other in tinker. 

Before long, you'll hear quiet.

Kids tucked in and snoozing, and from where we sit, Simon and I,
Drink in the view. 
The sea sparkling. 
Daylight dimming.
Lights like a row of tears all a-blur, flicker in the water. 
Gold bulbs: The corn on the Cobb.

Eventually slumber hijacks us too, and as I slip into sleep, I’m sure I hear the breeze through the open window whisper welcome back.

Next morning, we are up and out. 
It’s a stones throw to the sea to throw stones. 
To find stones. 
Stones that are hundreds of millions of years old.

The RNLI station is selling bait and buckets, and before long we are there beside the boats, camped out on the Cobb dangling all our hope on a string. We race our catch back to the water, and then move on to the beach; the white sands already in reach. 

Caw caw the noisy gulls cry, riding high on the breeze… 
Esme looks up momentarily, then grabs the freedom she can taste.
Letting go of my hand, running ever closer toward a dazzling blue sea. 
Sofia follows suit, losing her hat in the process.

Ocean’s edge you’re inviting, we four splash there with you. 
Then lie and relax, then swim again. 
(It's what we’re here to do). 

Oh and buckets and spades and sticks and shells, digging down deep to create. 
And our sand covered toes play peepo; all lay hiding in wait. 
Then we bury each other one by one and Daddy almost disappears. 
How we laugh before eating sandy ice cream.

Grab the nets we’re off to explore. 
Under rocks, over pools, along the seashore. 
Washed up this, and tossed there that. 
A crab leg, a Blenny, Sofia’s lost hat. 

'Hey', shouts Esme, 'let’s fly our kite,' and we run to find our spot. 
We wind it out and up it goes and I'm the one that's blown away. She makes it dance so beautifully. 
Meanwhile, Sofia you scream and scream as you wait impatiently for your turn.

Just as well it's only a short walk back to our retreat. 
Time for food, but what shall we eat? 
Look the fish shop has our tea… a pint of prawns. 
Method: Cook with garlic, lemon and salt. Drink with wine. Try not to gulp.

As sunlight fades and twilight rests her head once more upon the bay, 
I gaze, and think no wonder I, we, love coming here.
Year on year. 
No. Wonder. 
And the kids sleep endlessly; all that endless sea air.

Simon and I revel in the fact that we are out of contact. 

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