So many of you out there have been posting magical pictures of snow...so I thought I'd post some photos of my own, of a magical place that I have been visiting since I was a small child, and visited again today, with my own children. No snow, indeed, it's about as far from cold and ice and snowflakes as you could get...a beach. But not just any beach. It's where my Aunt and Uncle built a rough beach-house over 30 years ago.
It started out as little more than a glorified garage on a sand dune. But you could drag open the front gate and run straight down onto the beach and into the water. Every summer holidays, my mum, dad, brother and I would pack up and drive down to spend a few days with our cousins. 4 Adults, 6 kids, always at least 3 dogs, the odd cat...and even odder pets on occasion, given that my eldest cousin would invariably bring home any hurt or sick bird or animal he found on the beach. Sand would get tracked in from one end of the house to the other, and we rarely got out of our bathers, sitting around the table on vinyl chairs that would stick to your bum in the heat, eating white bread sandwiches and drinking ginger beer or tea, everyone talking at once, with all the windows open hoping to catch the sea breeze in the hot afternoon. I dreamed of Viking ships, and the Dawn Treader, of Anne Bonny and Mary Read. I would stand on the verandah, hand shading my eyes, and stare out to the horizon, believing absolutely that if I could just dream HARD enough, one day I would see the flutter of sails in the distance, hear the jangle of rigging, and they might really materialise and carry me off to exciting adventures and magical places. It's only now that I realise how magical the beach-house, and those summers, were...without pirates and vikings.
It has changed a lot, there are houses where once dunes and rough beach scrub were our playground, and a footpath between the house and the sea. The house itself has changed too, more like a real house now, with a garden and even lawn where once we played Totem Tennis. Eventually the metal parts rusted and the tennis ball came off, so my Aunt tied on an old thong (or flip-flop for those of you who were wondering!) found washed up, and we renamed it 'dong-a-thong' and belted that around instead. But my Aunt still lives there, the same wallpaper is up in the loo, the sea breeze still brings welcome relief in the afternoon, and there is always at least one dog to welcome you at the gate. So the essentials are there. I thought I'd share them. So here are some pics, taken today, views from the house, of the house, and the beach where I spent so many happy summer days. Something to warm your toes if they are a little frozen after all that snow!