Another blast to the past today, we spent the day at Polzeath beach in North Cornwall. We had all our holidays here when I was little, every summer for as long as I can remember (and probably a long time before I can remember) we spent a week staying in holiday flats or cottages here, and drove down for day trips most weekends. It's the best beach, it's the beach that all beaches make me think of, and it's more like going home there than anywhere else (my parents don't live in the same house I grew up in).
I hadn't been for about 4 years, and I've been fantasising about taking J-cub there since he was born. We were a little unsure about going, as the weather forecast was doubtful, and we woke to pouring rain. In fact, we drove through pouring rain, right into Cornwall where it suddenly started to lighten up. When we got there, it was almost sunny, but we were practically knocked over by a freezing wind when we got out of the car. We swapped our nice beach attire for the warmest emergency jumpers we had in the car, our waterproof coats, and winter hats all round (unfortunately, we only had a sunhat for J-cub, which kept blowing off. I managed to unearth a warmish hat in the depths of our swimming bag, but it was newborn size and we could barely squeeze it on. And not one of the shops there sold warm children's hats. You'd think it was supposed to be Summer.
Just after the above photo was taken, I spied another babywearing mama carrying a tiny baby in a stretchy wrap, and her partner had their older child in a framed rucksack. She spied me at the same time and we exchanged smiles and pointed each other out to our respective husbands. I was too shy to go and say hello though, although I did make the point later on of searching to see if she'd seen me in the "I saw a real babywearer!" thread on naturalmamas. Sadly no mention of me, but then I was again too shy to make a post of my own.
We didn't let the bitter wind stop our beachy fun, and happily dove head-first into the sand for some sandcastle building...
... some climbing in and out of a large hole.
After we'd finished with the sand, we trugged round the shops, ate a chippy lunch out of the wind in a cafe, and wandered back up to the car when J-cub got tired out. Jamie popped him in the buggy and pushed him round til he fell asleep while I lay the front passenger seat back in the car, put my feet on the dashboard and had a blissful hour's sleep. I felt like a proper Dad.
When I woke up, it was to the strange feeling of being warm. Very warm. I got out the car to find J-cub had just woken up and the sun had firmly got his hat on. Rather than our original plan of going home mid-afternoon, we decided to stay and make the most of the day, and go down to the sea (Polzeath beach is huge, and it was high tide when we got there. By mid-afternoon, it was low tide, and it's like a different beach. There are massive exposed rockpools, and the beach seems unending).
After a quick stop in Spar to stock up on picnic supplies, we went down to the sea and J-cub discovered the thrill of sun-warmed rock- and tide-pools. We saw lots of fish and crabs...
...and chased a (seagull)duck half-way across the beach (that tiny blue blur you can see? That's him).
We got back to the car at 6pm, and my little sausage was so worn out that he just lay on the Mei Tai where I'd lowered him to the ground. We had a cobbled together picnic and set off home after 7pm. It was a gorgeous day.