15 July 2018
Bugsy called out me at 05:45 this morning, and as I rubbed my eyes and scrambled into Bluebell to see what was the matter, I realised that she was looking wide awake. She was very cold, having gone to sleep with just her blanket over her. I wrapped her up in the duvet, but she asked me stay and cuddle her for a while, and hey, life’s too short to say no to those kind of requests, no matter how much you long to curl up under your own duvet! She wrapped her little arms around my neck and kissed me. And my heart just filled 💜
We chatted for a little while, before I told her it was still night time and now I was getting a bit cold, and she consented to me leaving her and returning to the warmth of my own tent. How kind!
I didn’t think either of us would go back to sleep, but indeed we did, not waking until after 08:00. I threw on my running kit and went out for a gorgeous run in the morning heat. There was no shade, so it was blazing sunshine all the way, and it’s fair to say I was a sweaty mess when I had finished!
Ian and Bugsy were having breakfast (she had only woken at 09:30!) and once he had filled up on porridge, Ian went out for his run – the same route as I had taken – while Cornelia dressed and helped me with the washing up.
I was beginning to stink by the time Ian came back, so dashed off for a shower while he cooled down. After he had showered, we went swimming at Bugsy’s request. She had decided she didn’t want to go to the beach, just the pool.
We were there for nearly two hours before we agreed it was time to extract the toddler for lunch, and then cycle down to the beach which was about 5kms away. Lunch was a remarkably quick affair for a change, and we even managed to navigate our way to the beach without getting lost or stopping 50 times to check the map!
It is a huge sandy beach and was jam-packed with sunseekers. After we’d treated ourselves to ice creams (Magnums, no less!) we found our patch and set down our blanket, retrieved the bucket and spade, and started work digging a hole big enough for a toddler! Ian took the first shift while I tried to eliminate my sock tan line.
I couldn’t resist a dip in the North Sea, and cautiously edged in, to find it was a great temperature and perfect for a swim. But it was shallow for a really long way out, which was deceiving, as there was also a really strong current which I only noticed on the way back. I was glad I am a strong and confident swimmer especially for the sections where I was out off my depth on my return. Despite this, it was glorious and reminded me how much I love being in the water.
The toddler had come in for a paddle with me too but wasn’t keen on going in any deeper than getting her bottom wet! Instead she continued to play in the sand, and once I was out of the water, it was my turn to dig a big hole for her to lie in. Ian went off to check out restaurants for our potential supper, and I thought she was going to fall asleep at one point, just lying there in her sand bed!
Luckily Ian came back at exactly the right time to coerce her out of the hole and into her clothes for a fish ‘n’ chips supper at one of the beach bars he’d found. Clothes on and sand partially removed, we ordered a couple of beers followed by our food: salmon for me, Kippeling (fish nuggets, basically) for Ian, and chicken nuggets for Bugs. It was all tasty enough, spoiled slightly by the inability to pay with a MasterCard or Visa! They took Maestro or V Pay, whatever the heck that is!
I had to cycle up into the town to find an ATM to take out enough cash to pay for our food! The owner was a bit rude about it, almost making it my fault that they wouldn’t accept cards, but I pointed out in return that it doesn’t say anywhere on the menu or on the walls or tables that they don’t accept standard cards for transactions.
Cornelia was getting pretty tired by now (it was about 20:30 by the time we left), so we whizzed back to the campsite on the bikes and I took her straight into the shower with me. She was a bit disappointed that she’d missed the mini disco, but that’s what tomorrows are for! There was a short wait for the showers but once in, I hosed her down and got rid of all the sand that gets everywhere, especially when you’re three!
Ian did her bedtime stories and then we relaxed with another beer, enjoying these last couple of nights in our tent.