31 August 2010

The water's lovely

This amazing beach is only a ten-minute drive from our house, and yet today was the first time the whole family have been there this year. Last summer we spent several hot evenings there and I was slightly shocked to realise that we'd got to the last day of August without a visit.

To make up for our neglect, I prepared a Blytonesque picnic of cheese, onion and potato pies, hard-boiled eggs, and pasta salad:

Although no ginger beer, sad to say.

I always find it stressful getting to the beach: everyone always seems bad-tempered, for some reason, as we load up the car with stuff and fail to find the suntan lotion, or someone's goggles. But when we arrive, the sound of the waves is instantly soothing, transporting me back to my childhood trips to the water's edge.

We lived in a seaside town then, but I seem to recall that our visits to the beach were just as infrequent in those days, too. My memory suggests that we mainly went there when our inland-dwelling cousins came to stay. Perhaps it's inevitable that you take such natural pleasures for granted when you live near them.

One of my enduring memories of those four-generation extended-family days out at the beach is of my grandfather. His method of entering the cold sea was quite spectacular. No timid inching into the water, step by freezing step, for him. He would run into the English Channel at a tremendous pace, spraying water everywhere around him and making a huge noise and performance about the whole procedure. The entire beachful of people would stop to stare at him in amazement while his family laughed in delight. Except perhaps his wife. I suspect she would have been wincing in embarrassment or hiding in the beach hut.


ladaisi said...

I cannot cook to save my life, but I love reading about cooking, watching people cook, and seeing photographs. This looked yummy.

Linda said...

Packing the car is guaranteed to bring out the worst in a family. I can understand how the tension evaporated when you got to 'your' beach.

Amanda said...

ladaisi - I don't believe you ;-) 'anyone can cook', as they say in the movie Ratatouille. My son loves that film and so do I. Your boy is perhaps a little young to appreciate it yet, though!

Linda said...

Hello! I just discovered your blog and LOVE it! My daughter just returned from Aberdeen...she and her husband were there a year. When I visited last December I tried the Ginger Beer and really liked it!