Friday, November 04, 2005

Utterly Magical

Got back yesterday from a wonderful break in St Bees, Cumbria where my Mum & Dad have bought a caravan holiday home in Seacote Park. Now, anyone who knows me knows that of all the places in England and Wales I've lived in, worked in or spent extensive holidays in, my heart belongs to Snowdonia....but a rival to my affections has seriously emerged here.

We had an utterly magical time. The caravan is gorgeous. The weather was perfect....well, for me at least. The wind screamed at gale force or just under, the rain boiled down from the skies so hard that at times you couldn't hear yourself speak over it, the caravan at times gently rocked under the force of the elements - I loved it. I've always had, ever since I can remember, a "fantasy" if you like, a kind of imagined sequence of events which can send me off to sleep in seconds when I'm feeling troubled - of being safe and cosy in a tent cuddling up with loved ones while the rain and wind lash down furiously outside. I don't know what it is about wild weather but I adore it, it leaves me energised and alive - unlike plain old sunshine which I find boring and at times depressing. Everyone thinks I'm odd, but I rather like it that way :-))

We didn't have time to really get to know St Bees and that little corner of the Lake District, but as tasters go, it was fabulous. We're really looking forward to returning in the spring for a longer holiday, and we've got so many places we want to go and things we want to do there!

OK, so it's a long drive - 4.5 hours each way - but it was worth it. Emily was enchanted with the beach from the minute we got there, and it really is perfect for a child - it has miles of sand which, when the tide is out, turn into a heaven of tiny paddling pools, sand islands and fortresses; it has a huge stony/pebbly/rocky shelf expoosed at low tide; it has a stream running into the sea; it has massive rock pools and climbing rocks at the foot of St Bees Head - everything you could possibly want from a beach, all mixed in together.

Tuesday morning, despite the extremely strong wind, we ventured up onto the first couple of miles of Wainright's famous Coast to Coast Walk which starts from the cliffs at the edge of the beach. It was absolutely glorious - if a little iffy in the wind, which was strong enough at some moments to make us adults lose our balance, let alone Emily. Here's Emily and Jon cuddled up against the wind:

and climbing a cliff top stile which, although you can't tell from the photo, seemed to have a pretty sheer drop at one edge (gulp!)

Despite a few anxious moments, the views and the exhiliration were well worth it. We made it as far as St Bees Lighthouse, but decided against descending to Fleswick Bay due to the weather, which was taking a turn for the worse, safety wise. We will definitely get down to the bay in the spring though. It can only be reached from the cliff path or by boat, and is apparently famous for its semi-precious gemstones.

Tuesday afternoon we spent hours on the beach, playing, rockpooling, getting extremely wet and muddy and generally having a ball. Here's a photo of the pink fisher girl:

Wednesday we were spoilt for choice of where to go, but eventually decided to visit Trotters World of Animals/ which turned out to be be a very, very good decision. Despite being nearly the only visitors there, we were treated to a fantastic Birds of Prey flying display (which included Emily being nearly knocked off her feet by a lovesick vulture called Fred, lol) and a close up touchy-feely encounter with several snakes. Here's me and Emily getting up close and personal with a Beauty Snake called Lucy:

I love snakes, I think they're some of the most beautiful creatures. Spiders - uck. But snakes, now that's me. Back to the caravan for more beachcombing, despite the driving rain and howling wind - I don't know if some of the clothes we've brought back will ever be clean again!

Thursday it was time to leave after an all too short stay. It was a long drive home, but we had a wonderfully warm welcome from the kit-bits, who had been kitty-sat by Nana & Gramps while we were away.......and we came came back to nearly 400 orders demanding immediate attention. Sigh. Guess what we've been doing all last night and all day today. Still, mustn't grumble - it would have been far more alarming if we'd come back to none, lol! We're kind of caught up now, just about, which is great - but it's a shame to look out of the windows and not see the sea and the raging elements in all their glory. These waves were just breaking onto shore near the stream, and I'm sure they were taller than me! Certainly freaked Emily out when Jon went to the waters edge to get the photo, anyway...
Never mind - all good things must eventually come to an end, but we've got our next visit in early spring to look forward to!

Must just add this photo of Romeo chasing rainbows on Emily's bed this morning. He spent ages rushing to and fro, bless him.
Juliet was up there too....but had rather more sense than her brother, and idled away the time between paw-washes looking on in a faintly amused must-humour-him kind of way....

1 comment:

stef_n_dawniy said...

what a fantastic time you've been having :)