Wednesday, October 10, 2007


On Saturday, our church held a coffee morning. Afterwards we wandered the twenty yards down the road to the beach and sat on the sea wall. The weather was idyllic: the seductive aspect of global warning. My husband took some (slightly blurry) pictures on his phone camera.

The air was warm and perfectly still. On the beach, dog-walkers strolled while their charges sniffed seaweed or galloped about, leaving deep paw-prints. A few children built sandcastles with buckets, spades and deep concentration. The sea was a glassy blue and the waves whispered politely as they folded themselves on to the sand. There were a few strands of cloud resting gently on a bright blue sky.

A friend of ours was down by the water with his two grandsons, who were very busy with buckets. The boys’ father used to play rugby for Scotland and they seem to have inherited his speed and stamina. Beyond them, a boat moved through the middle distance, contrasting decoratively with the sea.

On such a day, you’d think that all was well with the world. Tension seeped out of the soles of my feet.

Then we went home. I spent the afternoon at the supermarket, heaving around an unusually full trolley of food (human and cat) and litter (cat). It cost £180. Sigh.

But yes, I know: we’re lucky to have food and to the money to pay for it. And to have cats.

And the memory of that golden morning has warmed me through the week as I’ve looked through the college windows at the Indian summer outside.


  1. I wanted to post a comment to this that was just one long sigh of relaxation, an exhalation of contentment. But when I typed out "aaaaaah...." it looked like a scream, or mild confusion, so instead I'll just say thank you for that!

  2. Your wonderful way with words and photos, the perfect combination. :) Thank you for a few moments of relaxation for me, too!

  3. Pity they don't do the donkey rides any more down there, though the braying of donkeys would interrupt the peaceful day somewhat.

    I miss sea air and the sound of seagulls.

  4. You're such fun to tease... I was teasing about your children in their jammies. But speaking of jammies, we not only want to see you in your jammies... we just want to see YOU!!

    How are your daughter and son-in-law doing???

  5. I know just what you mean.

  6. This is the essence of life, isn't it? A mixture of the sacred and the mundane. Infinite peace and beauty juxtaposed with insanely overpriced carts of food.

  7. Very nice post, lovely photos.

  8. Lovely photos. So relaxing.

    But what a big shop!! I'm not certain what the exchange rate is at the moment...but in Aussie dollars, I'm sure I'd be hyperventilating!

  9. Nice to know that winter's chill hasn't got you in it's grip just yet. My daughter in California reported snow on the ground one recent morning.....brrrr!

    The beach always calms me down too. Lovely descriptions.....

  10. What a beautifully written post. Isabelle, thank you for the comments on my blog, with your good wishes for Helen. I have done a print out of all the comments for her and will take it in when I visit her next week. I am tempted to print off a copy of your post here as well, I know she would just love reading it. On the other hand, I don't like reminding her of what she's missing in Blogland. Wonder if they can set up a laptop on her bed? I'll ask!! I can see myself being her secretary for a while once she is home and wanting to catch up with her blog friends!!

  11. "the waves whispered politely"
    Wonderful image! I loved this post. I could hear the sea, sighing as it came to visit softly, to give you a pleasurable treat.
    Those lovely hazy photos, capturing it all, so superbly.
    Thank you!

  12. Moments like that Saturday morning do stay with you and lift you before the reality of a supermarket shop takes you along. I'm just about to do mine and can't wait for it to be over and done with. Lovely photos, the beach looks delicious. Have a good weekend, easy on the cat litter!
    Ki mx

  13. beautiful post. Spoke straight to my heart.
    It looks positively tropical there. I have arrived in a cold snap here in St Petersburg, and it's 3 degrees. In London I didn't even have my coat on.

    Luckily there are plenty of indoor diversions...I have clocked up seven hours in the hermitage, enacting my own version of "russian ark".

    That beautiful ocean, I would have dived in.
    You know I would have, it would have been my duty.

    take care

  14. I don't know whether Fifi will ever see this, but just in case anyone else does, and is fooled by the blueness of the sea:

    1) this is the North Sea.
    2) it's VERY CHILLY even in July
    3) it would be EXCEPTIONALLY CHILLY in October, despite the unseasonable warmth of the weather.
    4) don't do it!

  15. You just soak it in don't you?
    What a lovely post, the photos are really nice, simple, essence of beach. And how like you to count your blessings!