Down the shore everything’s alright …
oh it so was : )
Escaped from Cambridge on Thursday evening for a minibreak (hurrah) in beautiful Brancaster. We stayed in the most delightful of cottages about as close to the sea as you can get there – just on the side of the wonderful marsh and about 1/2 mile walk along the dyke ridge to the best beach in the universe. It was heaven.
Thursday morning, two tired and weary (and pretty fractious people) and one unborn Spaniard headed over to Brancaster on the North Norfolk coast … some how the journey there strips away tiredness, and weary bones and stretched tummy pain just vanishes as soon as you sniff the perfect sea air.
The cottage was wonderful, managed by a wonderfully warm, kind and loopy lady (and that is a compliment if she is reading this) lady and her lovely husband. They made us feel more at home than we do in Cambridge, and gave us cheer when needed and space to just be the rest of the time.
The first night away, The Spaniard was so excited by all the sea air that it had hiccups for about 4 hours and then danced the rest of the night away so I didn’t get much sleep, but had breakfast cooked for me and just lazed around before spending about 4 hours walking on the beach the next day … sheer bliss. I looked like a weeble as I waddled along in 5 fleeces with about 3 scarves ontop but it was needed to protect from the stiff sea breeze.
I have a very dear friend who has her ashes scattered on the beach there, and another friend’s very lovely dog is also scattered there as well and I’ve been going for walks there for about 30 years so it is so so familiar and wonderful. No shops, no arcades, no fun fair … nothing at all really – just seals, lots of different sea birds and the biggest of beaches and the blustery-est of winds. The walking on Saturday sent The Spaniard to sleep and the little monkey then proceeded to sleep – or at least not wriggle – for about 20 hours which made me worry that all was not well, but an evening of writing Christmas cards and listening to Johnny Cash radio on the wonderful Internet Radio in the cottage (what an amazing thing … any radio station in the world … remarkable) soon woke it up and it was back to its wriggling best before the evening was through.
At 32 weeks now it isn’t bouncing so much as lurching now and twisting around … hands and feet still pummeling but not the same leaping and jumping as before … less room in its abode I guess. My tummy moves in a way that’s visible from the outside now … I spent hours laying in the bath watching it change shape.
We went to a sausage festival in the Jolly Sailors – probably the best pub in the universe – and The Spaniard’s dad even took at turn at making sausages which was fun (and great breakfast the next day), we sat on the sea shore on the side of a windswept creek and watched the seals lolling around in the calm of the dunes just below the gusting wind… and I spent ages watching the sand pipers and oyster catchers scurrying around in the surf. I also spent ages talking to Ken Tidd a local artist who painted a commission for me about 25 years ago, and bought a painting from a show by Tim Hall (who says babies need prams – they grow out of those and grow up with paintings!!!)
I also drove Roy a bit bonkers I think, asking people at the local Christmas fair about their prams (there were lots of ‘yummy mummys’ there) … were they good on the beach, did the wheels get punctured often, was it easy to fold up etc etc etc .. which they seemed to enjoy chatting about … and oddly most of the people I stopped and spoke to said “oh you’re definitely having a boy” based on looking at me wearing 5 fleeces and a big coat!! We shall see .. but odd everyone has decided pretty much universally that The Spaniard is a boy … I wonder … and no I still don’t want to know in advance … assuming we make it to 12th January (or whenever the baby is born) we’ll find out.
All in all an utterly blissful break – the soothing effects of 3 days feel more like having been away a month.
The only sad time was hearing that a friend’s pregnancy was having troubles and her baby will need surgery as soon as its born … which made me dreadfully sad, and also realise still more how perilous this journey we are on is and how important it is to cherish every moment as we never know what is round the corner. Their precious baby is due on 12th December in Canada … a month before The Spaniard … I wish at times like this the world was a little smaller and that we could all be blessed with healthy babies and easy pregnancies.
As I type this I’m still full of the sea air and the peace and beauty that Brancaster always leaves me with … I have about 10 days alone to sort things out at home, but am looking forward to seeing a small group of friends on Sunday morning for some girl talk and one of my best friends on Saturday afternoon to sort through baby clothes, perhaps look at what I’m meant to have when it first comes home, and then to forget children and go and see the Vermeer exhibition in Cambridge and have a curry. Apparently come January my priorities might be a little different… but one thing I do know is that as soon as I’m recovered enough from the Cesarean we will be taking The Spaniard to the beach and to that most special of places.
Anyway – in the meantime I can confirm that down the shore everything’s most definitely alright and I wish I was still there!