My parents have now gone home, and a sense of normality has returned, more or less. We’re heading off on Sunday ourselves, going camping down at the very far South West of Cornwall, so I need to start packing and preparing for that. However I thought I’d share what we did yesterday with my parents as we had a lovely day out at Lanhydrock, a National Trust-owned stately home about an hour’s drive away. We and my parents are all National Trust members, so it worked out at a pretty cheap day out as the entry was free. I have to confess, we tend to visit more of the “coast and country” kind of National Trust properties than the stately home kind of properties, but I like a change too and my Mum really wanted to visit this one as they have some William Morris rooms, which she loves. So, we packed a picnic and went.

Lanhydrock

It was a bit of a wet day, which turned out to be ideal for wandering around a house, but not so much for the picnic. Luckily we managed to find a spot near the entrance under cover to eat it. There’s a great adventure playground here which Lucy got a short go on before it got too wet to be safe. To get to the house itself you have to walk through some of the parkland, a pleasant walk as the rain cleared up. The park is pretty large; you could spend a day just walking round it – or hire bicycles and explore it that way. I would have liked to see more of it – maybe we can go back again some time and do this.

Lanhydrock

The house was originally Elizabethan but restored heavily in the nineteenth century after a fire. I’m annoyed with myself because I didn’t manage to take any photos of the whole house – the one at the top of this post is just of the gatehouse. Once you get inside, you walk through a succession of rooms including the formal parts of the house as well as the servants’ areas. We found the William Morris wallpaper pretty quickly, much to my Mum’s delight.

William Morris

I have to admit, I found the “below stairs” areas more interesting than the posh dining rooms and drawing rooms and so on. I loved seeing the old kitchen and dairy and pastry room and so on. I think the enforced class divisions make me a bit uncomfortable, although from the information we read about the house, it seems the family who lived here treated their servants very well and looked after them.

Pans

Mrs Beeton

Upstairs, we saw bedrooms and dressing rooms. There was even a school room and a nursery for the family’s many children – I think they had 9 or even 10 to look after.

Playroom

My eye was naturally caught by the old patchwork quilt in the nursemad’s room. I know exactly how much effort is needed to make little hexagonal patches and sew them together so I was really impressed with this and how long it must have taken to make.

Nursemaid's Room

When we’d finished looking at the house, we took a stroll round the gardens and the small church behind the house. Lucy enjoyed rolling about on the grass, for some reason she really liked the small, gentle slopes in the lawns. We were more interested in enjoying the flowers.

Lanhydrock

Lanhydrock

Lanhydrock

It was starting to get late so we decided to head home, but taking a more meandering walk through the parkland than on the way in. Lucy enjoyed climbing some of te huge trees that we found. OK, I’ll admit it, Clive and I did too, not being able to resist a good strong tree to climb.

Climbing Trees

Climbing Trees

Despite the rain in the morning, this was a great day out. I’d like to come back when Lucy’s more confident on a bicycle and hire some to ride around as that looked like a lot of fun. My memories of visiting this kind of place as a kid is that they were fairly dry, but the National Trust seem to have gone to a lot of effort to make such places more child-friendly, and Lucy seemed to really enjoy the day, as much as we did. Definitely worth visiting if you’re in Cornwall and want something a bit different to beaches and fishing villages.

My parents are staying with us for a few days. Luckily, the weather this week is behaving itself so we’re able to take them out and about – I think this might be the first time they’ve been to visit and it hasn’t been howling gales and rain, so it’s nice to show them it is sunny here sometimes too. Today we spent the day in town, just wandering around enjoying how pretty it is here.

Crooklets

We started off down at Crooklets, going for Buns on the Beach. Some of our neighbours had organised a morning barbecue out of their beach hut, selling bacon rolls and mugs of tea to raise money for CLIC Sargent, a young person’s cancer charity. So, of course we all piled down along with, it looked like, most of our street and enjoyed brunch in the sunshine watching the tide turn.

Bacon Baps

Bacon Bap

Full and happy, we walked along the coast path around to Summerleaze, which was already getting pretty full of tourists; we took in the river and the castle on the way past before going through Bude’s tiny harbour and out along the Breakwater. Lucy loves it here, running about among the rocks and playing, but I think my parents, who aren’t used to it, found it a bit windy for them.

River Neet

Breakwater

Having had the bacon rolls, we decided to forgo a proper lunch and take a walk along the canal away from the sea. We came across some rather cute fluffy ducks along the path, which we all fell in love with.

Ducklings

We also found this lovely house which backs onto the canal. I think it would be just lovely to live here, though I suspect they may get fed up with tourists like me admiring their home.

Canalside Home

The canal doesn’t go that far inland or connect to any other canals, although it does have a lock gate to the sea. It is, however, a lovely gentle walk, and we meandered along for a bit before finding we were getting hungry. We decided to turn back and try a new café that has recently opened up near to the lock gate, called the Barge. It’s a floating café in a boat, which we thought would be a different experience. Inside, it was very light and airy, surprisingly so for a canal boat. We decided it was definitely time for a cream tea, and all ordered scones. I love these but rarely have them because they’re just not that healthy. However, once in a while as a treat is, I think, OK. This one was very good, and I think I’d like to come back to the Barge and try some of the rest of their menu.

Cream Tea

The Barge

Lucy’s little legs were getting tired by this point so we took a slow walk back through town, trying to convince ourselves this was burning off our cream teas. Town was bustling, as it always is this time of year. My parents didn’t like the idea of living here and having to battle with it, but I don’t think it’s too bad – it’s only for a few weeks of the year and the rest of the time it’s much calmer and nicer – and we have huge beautiful beaches, often all to ourselves. They did however enjoy their day wandering round Bude, and I’m glad they got to see how lovely it can be when the sun shines.

We have a beach, called Crooklets, at the end of our road. I’ve fallen in love with it, and would say it’s one of my best happy places, perhaps even my best happy place. Since I moved to live so close to the sea, I’ve come to realise how much rubbish and pollution ends up in it, or on our beaches. Until we lived by the coast, I’d never really thought about it, but when you visit the beach most days, you quickly see how much rubbish ends up there, or how often the beach has to be closed because of sewage. It’s heartbreaking, and even worse when you start to learn about how this impacts sea life and our own health. And that’s why, today we all wandered down to the beach for the monthly community beach clean. To be honest, we try and pick things up every time we visit, but it’s nice to go along as part of a group and do it together – not only does the beach get a good clean, we always meet new people who care about the beach as much as we do.

Beach Cleaning

Thay’s yours truly on the right, combing through the seaweed at the high tide line (picture by Deb Rosser, the lovely lady who organises the cleaning group). There was so much rubbish tangled in the seaweed – bits of rope, plastic bottle tops, cotton bud sticks (seriously, who flushes these?), loads of random bits of broken plastic, and probably worst of all, a syringe (fortunately not with a needle, but the kind you would give medicine orally with).

Beach Cleaning

Between us, we filled 19 bin bags’ worth of rubbish in just over an hour. Lucy and I did two between us – sometimes she’s really good at helping, today less so, but I think she’s in a bit of a fidgety frame of mind at the moment. I think she understands the importance of what we’re doing. There were plenty of other children taking part, which was great to see.

Beach Cleaning

I was torn between feeling like the patch I had combed over looked a lot better, and the sense that it was such a small thing in the face of a very large problem. I think in situations like this you have to do what you can and know that even a small improvement is better than doing nothing. Several tourists came up and asked us about what we were doing, and seemed inspired. There’s a bit of a movement going on, which started in Bude, encouraging people to do a 2 Minute Beach Clean when they visit the beach – these A-boards with litter pickers and plastic bags in are springing up on beaches all over the country. Hopefully if enough people do a little bit, it really will make a real difference. We piled our bags next to the Crooklets beach clean board when we left, maybe it’ll inspire other visitors to do a bit, before the council collect it?

Beach Cleaning

At the end of the clean we all went for a coffee, which was lovely. I got chatting to a few people while I was cleaning, and I loved the sense of it being a community doing something together to look after somewhere we all love. Which is a pretty awesome way to start the weekend.

Carrot, Apple and Walnut Loaf

I bake a lot of cakes, and while this is a wonderful thing, it can mean I also eat a lot of cake. Which isn’t that healthy. I’ve been trying to think of healthier things to bake recently, and as I really like carrot cake, thought that seemed a good thing to experiment with. Carrot and walnuts in a cake is a great combination, and I wondered if I added some apple as well, what that might be like. It turns out, really nice. Because of the apple and carrot, you can get away with less sugar, and the oil is a little healthier than butter would be, resulting in a cake that doesn’t make me feel quite so guilty. The smell as it was cooking was pretty good, too. This cake goes really well with a cup of tea, especially if you can sit in the sun somewhere nice.

Ingredients:

  • 50g instant oats (e.g. Ready Brek)
  • 260g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 1 large apple, grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 50g chopped walnuts

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
  2. Stir together the oats, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and sugar, using a wooden spoon.
  3. Beat the eggs and the oil together, then pour into the flour mixture. Use the spoon to mix until evenly combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Add in the grated apple and carrot, and walnuts and stir through so they are evenly distributed.

Carrot, Apple and Walnut Loaf

  1. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, and level the surface. It will be fairly stiff, this is fine.
  2. Bake in the oven for 30 minsutes then reduce the heat to 160°C. Cover the loaf with foil and bake for a further hour.
  3. Take out of the oven the cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Carrot, Apple and Walnut Loaf

Eden Project

Ever since we moved to Cornwall nearly two years ago, we’ve been visiting the Eden Project pretty regularly. If you live in Devon or Cornwall, you can get a Locals’ Pass for £12 and go as many times as you like in a year. We’ve been going three or four times a year so this definitely represents good value. They often have themed activities which means that every visit is different – at Christmas they have santa and ice skating, we’ve done easter crafts and games like egg rolling before, and so on. This week, for half term, the theme is games, which turned out to be really fun.

Lucy

When we get there, the first thing we usually do is visit the rainforest biome and walk round it. It’s full of tropical plants, dided into zones for different areas of the world where there are rainforest e.g. South America, South East Asia etc. There are lots of interactive exhibits in there, such as traditional rainforest houses you can walk around and information about rainforest crops such as rubber, coffee and spices. I guess it’s what people most think of when they think of the Eden Project. We all love wandering round it, admiring the exotic plantlife.

Eden Project

Eden Project

Eden Project

Touchy Plants

The games theme in here included some traditional rainforest tribe games and some simple hopscotch, which Lucy recognised and had a go at.

Hopscotch

A regular fixture on our visits is the Baobab smoothie stand. The rainforest biome is hot and humid and generally makes us thirsty. There are plenty of drinking water fountains however we usually get a Baobab smoothie as they’re delicious – made of baobab, coconut and lime juice. Very refreshing and something we’ve never seen anywhere else.

Baobab Smoothies

Baobab Smoothie

After we’d enjoyed our smoothies we moved through to the Mediterranean biome for more games. They had a large scale hangman game set up, which Lucy took part in and really enjoyed.

Hangman

I love the rainforest biome, but I think the Mediterranean biome is my favourite. It’s a bit cooler, so, more comfortable, and smells amazing – a mixture of herbs such as rosemary, and citrus trees which is lovely. They often have activities in here such as crafts and storytelling.

Mediterranean Biome

Cactus

After this, we decided it was time to have our lunch – we generally take a picnic with us as we do find the food available a bit expensive. On the occasions we’ve had it it’s been delicious and I think it’s worth the money as it’s sustainably sourced, often locally. However, it’s just a little out of our price range for a day out so we go for the picnic option – there are lots of places inside and out that you can sit and eat.

Last of all, we visited the Core, which is an interesting space filled with all kinds of things, including a soft play area, which Lucy, at 5, is getting a little big for, but still likes to visit. Today it was really filled with games, including a giant marble run, face painting and computer games. Lucy really liked the computer games, especially the retro ones, which we liked for different, nostalgic, reasons.

Mario

Finally we visited the coding room. I was a little nervous that Lucy would struggle with this, but she actually seemed to really like it. They had set up some coding stations which used Fuze, a raspberry pi-powered coding system. The assistants helped Lucy to write a simple programe that wrote, of course, “Hello World”. Lucy’s reading and writing ability is just about up to dealing with this. She also understood when the assistant helped her turn it red, and make it bigger. You could see she was excited about being able to change what came up on the screen when she ran her program. As someone who has dabbled in programming, I was extremely proud. I’m definitely going to get her one of these kits, maybe for Christmas – I think another six months of school and she’ll be more comfortable with reading and words and should get more from it.

Hello World

Coding

Yes, we had succumbed to the lure of the face painting stand. I suspect my daughter learning to code while looking like spiderman might be the geekiest parenting moment I’ve had yet. Love this girl, so much. Our last stop of the day was a room where there was a lot of Lego and tubes you could use to build marble runs. Lucy loves Lego and marbles, so was quite happy in here doing this for a bit, as were we, to be honest.

Marble Run

Another great Eden trip, which was completely different to every other time we’ve been. I’m sure we’ll be back over the summer when they have their big dinosaur themed sessions – Lucy loved this last year as, like just about all kids her age, she loves dinosaurs. Can’t wait!

This evening I decided to go for a walk down to the beach. After Lucy was tucked up in bed, Clive had some work to get on with so I thought, as it was so nice, I would head out and enjoy a little stroll and some fresh air. The light was so lovely as the sun was going down, it gave everything a feeling of glowing.

Dandelions

We live in an early twentieth century terrace, the kind that has a lane behind it, between my garden and the garden of the next road. Normally we walk along the pavement at the front, but today I walked down the back, enjoying the calm. You do get cars up and down this lane, as there are garages down here, but generally it’s pretty quiet and generally has children playing in it, although not today it seemed.

Evening Walk

It’s about a five minute walk to the beach from our house, and I arrived just in time to see the sun going down over the sea. Which was stunning. I haven’t lived here long enough to take this for granted yet. To be honest, I hope that I never do. Take it for granted, I mean – I have no plans to move away!

Crooklets Sunset

The local council have recently replaced the rather old beach huts here with some shiny new ones with bright, cheerful paintwork. I rather like them, they definitely look a lot better than the old ones. I’d love to rent one, but they’re a bit out of our price range, and hard to justify when we live five minutes’ walk away!

Beach Huts

I really am very lucky to have all of this just at the end of my street. I sometimes get very jealous when I see my friends’ Facebook and Twitter posts, showing them jetting off to far-flung places that I just can’t afford. But I know I should be grateful, not jealous, because I have so much loveliness right on my doorstep to enjoy. I need to make more of an effort to come out like this, and make the most of it. We come out all the time in the day, but I’m usually too distracted by my family to really drink it all in in the way I did tonight.

Evening Walk

Evening Walk

The first May bank holiday always feels like the start of summer to me – the days are long, the weather is (usually) behaving itself a bit more and the idea of sleeping under canvas starts to sound quite attractive. We decided we would start the summer with a short camping trip, just a couple of nights, to give the tent an airing and explore an area that’s a bit too far to easily do in day trips. We’d heard a lot of good things about the North Devon coast so decided to go and investigate, finding ourselves a lovely, fairly quiet campsite near Ilfracombe. I think this might be one of the best views I’ve ever had from a campsite!

Campsite

We knew Saturday was going to be the best day as far as the weather went, so we got our tent pitched quickly, ate the picnic we’d brought with us then went down the hill into the small town of Combe Martin. We explored for a bit then found a welcoming pub called the Pack O’ Cards. It had a really lovely childrens’ play area which Lucy enjoyed while we had a nice drink in the sunshine. Then we walked back a longer route, out of the village, through nearby woods. We found a couple of geocaches while we were there.

Walking

Combe Martin

We actually went back to the same pub later in the evening for dinner, as we’d had a look at the menu and decided it looked good. It turned out to be a good choice, and one we’ll remember if we’re in the area again. When we got back to the tent we found the sunset was beautiful. Even more beautiful was the night sky when I got up for a toilet visit at about 2am – there’s very little light pollution in this area and I could see far more stars than usual – absolutely stunning (but beyond my skills to photograph). One of the reasons I love camping is this feeling of being close to nature and seeing such sights.

Sunset

Sunday was a little more cloudy, so we decided to make it a walking day. I’m really, really proud of Lucy because she walked a long way with us. They say a child should be able to walk a mile for every year old that they are – which means she should be able to walk 5 miles. I’d doubted that she could do this, until today, when I saw her do it, largely without really complaining. She had some school homework to do – go and find bugs and take pictures, draw them, and make a list of what she’d found. We started our day at Watersmeet, as we thought this would be a good spot for finding bugs – a woody gorge where several rivers meet. One of my friends, Rachel Cotterill liked this place so much she used the name for a book she’s written. I trust Rachel’s judgement so thought we would go and have a look while we were in the area.

WatersmeetWatersmeet

Bug Hunt

It's a stunning place, so I'm really glad we did. We parked in what I would descibe as the bottom (Combe Park) car park, which was free for National Trust members with an honesty box for everyone else - the main car park near the café is not free, even for NT members. This worked out really well as we then had a pleasant walk of about a mile to the café, which is inside an old fishing lodge. The café was lovely, as National Trust cafés tend to be, though we were slightly annoyed that they didn't serve hot food until 12 - we had got there just after 11 and really fancied the soup that was advertised, but had to wait. So we did, as we hadn't brought lunch with us. We entertained ourselves watching the many chaffinches, robins and other birds which were playing in the garden, quite unafraid of the visitors. I suppose they know they'll get crumbs and so on.

Watersmeet

Chaffinch

Robin

After we'd eventually had our lunch, we carried on a bit further, but we soon realised we weren't going to get to Lynmouth and then get Lucy all the way back to the car. So, we followed the river back, stopping for more bug hunting, stone skimming and the occasional rest, as it was largely uphill.

Watersmeet

We then drove over to Heddon Valley, anoth National Trust site nearby. After refuelling Lucy with ice cream we started walking again. The sign said it was a mile to the beach at Heddon Mouth, which we thought Lucy wouldn't manage, but to our surprise she did, fairly happily. The going here was easier - it was much flatter and the path was very wide, as it has been designed to take mobility scooters. We soon found ourselves at a little shingly beach where we sat and watched the waves.

Heddon Mouth

Heddon Mouth

By this time, we could see the weather was starting to turn, so we took a slow meander back up the valley and then went and found a pub serving a carvery roast dinner, Lucy's favourite, which we were all more than ready for.

When we got up the next day, we were pleased to find it wasn't raining. We packed up and managed to get it done before the rain set in. We didn't like to head straight home, so we stopped in Braunton for a look round. I'd hoped to walk out to Baggy Point, but by this point it was really raining, so we abandoned that and got some lunch instead, then drove home. By the time we got back to Bude the sun was shining down, which is pretty typical of round here - we have very changeable and very localised weather.

All in all, I think that the weekend was a pretty great start to the summer. We've got at least one more camping trip planned, for a week in August, but I'm hoping to pencil in a couple more short weekend trips like this one, as it's such a cheap way to have a fun few days. I do love discovering more lovely areas just around the corner - this was only an hour's drive from home.

Wine

On Friday, Clive and I went for a day out in Padstow. We felt like a grown up day, and hadn’t been there before. The sun was shining, Lucy was in school with a playdate at a friend’s house afterwards, so we drove down the coast to Padstow. Actually, to Rock, a small village on the other side of the Camel Estuary, where there’s a lot more parking, which meant we could catch the ferry across the estuary.

Camel Estuary

After a short, pleasant ride across the river, we found ourselves in the town. Padstow is a rather attractive little fishing town, built around a central harbour. We strolled around the narrow streets, exploring the shops until it was time for lunch.

Padstow

The town was gearing up for their annual Obby Oss festival on Bank Holiday Monday, so there was bunting everywhere. It looked very pretty, fluttering in the spring sunshine.

Bunting

We found a lovely pub overlooking the harbour to get lunch in. I love my daughter very much, but we do miss doing this kind of thing together – lazy lunchtimes with wine and good food and conversation. Padstow is known for its seafood, so I decided to have the haddock chowder, and I’m really glad I did as it was delicious, without being too filling.

Haddock Chowder

After we’d finished lunch, we treated ourselves to an ice cream, and then decided to explore the coast path heading north out of town. We followed the beach for a mile or so, as the tide was on the way out. There weren’t many people about, and the feeling of space and calm was lovely. I definitely want to bring Lucy here soon, which probably means at a weekend, when I expect it’s busier. But for now, it was so nice to have the space to ourselves.

Camel Estuary

Clouds

When we got to Hawker’s Cove, we decided to turn back, as the beach gave way to cliffs and the coast path began to get steep – we were out for a stroll, not a hike. We followed the coast path back through woods and past and old wartime lookout post and into town. Another lovely ferry ride took us back to the car.

Camel Estuary

What a lovely day out we had. It felt a bit naughty, like playing hooky, to be having a day out together without Lucy, but I think as parents you have to allow yourselves time together sometimes to remember why you were a couple before you were a family. She seemed to have a marvellous time at her friend’s house after school, so I don’t think we should feel too guilty about it – except maybe for the ice cream, and I think we walked that off!

The other day we had one of Lucy’s schoolfriends and her brother and parents around for dinner. We don’t normally have dessert, especially in the middle of the week, but when we have guests I like to make it a bit special by having something for afterwards. As it was really Lucy who had the guest, I asked her what she would like. She came back with “banana pie”. I’m not sure what she was expecting, as I don’t think she’s ever had any kind of banana pie, banoffee or otherwise, but banoffee is what I decided to go with. It turns out Clive had never had it before either. This was a really simple dish to make as it doesn’t even require baking (and making the caramel layer is much easier than it probably sounds). I made it the night before and made sure the cream nicely covered all the bananas, so they didn’t go brown.

Banoffee Pie

Ingredients:

  • 200g butter
  • 200g digestive biscuits
  • 100g dark brown soft sugar
  • 400g condensed milk (I bought a tin of 397g)
  • 2 bananas
  • 300ml whipping cream

I used a 20cm loose-bottomed tin to make this. There’s probably a small amount of wiggle room in terms of tin size.

Instructions:

  1. Put the biscuits into a sandwich bag and bash them with something like a rolling pin until you have crumbs. Or, use a food processor, but I find the bashing very therapeutic! Melt 100g of the butter.
  2. Tip the melted butter and biscuit crumbs into a bowl. Mix together until the butter is evenly distributed through the crumbs. Spoon this into the tin and use the back of a spoon to press it firmly against the bottom in an even layer. Place the tin into the fridge for at least ten minutes to harden this buttery biscuit base.
  3. Melt the rest of the butter and the sugar over a gentle heat, stirring all the time until the sugar dissolves. Add the condensed milk then bring to the boil. Allow it to boil for a minute, whilst still stirring. You should end up with a rich, thick caramel. Pour this over the biscuit base. Allow to cool then place into the fridge for at least an hour or so to set.
  4. Slice the bananas; arrange them on top of the caramel – I went for a neat geometric pattern but, really, nobody is going to see it so do it however you like.

Banoffee Pie

  1. Whip the cream, then spoon it onto the bananas, covering them. I’ve seen this done with chocolate grated on the top as well, but that felt like an unnecessary extra for me, given how much sugar is already in this!

Sharpnose Point

Today we’ve had a marvellous day at the beach. The weather this weekend has been absolutely glorious, so we decided to spend the day at one of our favourite local beaches, Sandymouth. It’s only a few miles away from our house – I love having beautiful places like thise close by. It’s National Trust owned, which, as we’re members, means we can park for free. We took our own picnic because, although there’s a café, we wanted to walk along the beach a way and then eat.

Sandymouth

Sandymouth is a very long beach, running into the next beach down (Northcott, where we had the scones last week). At the top of the beach, below the twisted, folded rocks, is gravel, then there are exposed rocks, fill of little pools, and then broad, sweeping sand (at low tide, anyway). We crossed the rocks and walked along the sand.

Sandymouth

Sandymouth

We found a nice spot to eat our lunch. Actually, we found two spots.The first spot I found looked lovely until we realised we were right below a nest of seagulls. This felt a bit risky to expose sandwiches and cake so we moved on.

Gulls

After lunch we had lots of fun exploring the rockpools. They’re starting to come to life after winter, with lots of snails, mussels, a few fish darting about and – my favourite – anemones. I love these, and find their bright jelly redness just gorgeous.

Anemones

Anemones

Once Lucy had discovered that they’re squidgy, we had to persuade her not to go and poke every one we saw. “Look but don’t touch” is a hard lesson for five year olds. Fortunately there was lots of other fun to be had, splashing in the water, which was warmer than I expected, drawing in the sand and chasing each other around the beach. By mid-afternoon we’d tired ourselves out enough to feel we could justify a quick ice cream in the café, so we retraced our steps up the beach. I enjoyed a rhubarb and crumble ice cream whilst admiring the view from above the beach.

Sandymouth

Lucy

I was pleased to see these sea pinks coming out, as we walked up the café, I love these delicate yet hardy seaside flowers, and these are the first I’ve seen this year. Lovely.

Thrift

What an absolutely splendid day out this was. I love days like this – spending time outdoors in the fresh air somewhere pretty with the two people I love most in the world is probably top of my favourite things to do. Lucy seems to really love the beach. I think she loves the space, being able to run around, make noise, get sandy have a splash and play with us. Hopefully she’s making some happy memories – I know I am!