Wow! What a wonderful windy morning we spent on a desolate and deserted Woolacombe Beach! I don't think I can ever remember it being so barren and yet so beautiful. The wind whipped the sand across the beach in poetic style; dunes danced to the beat of the blustery conditions and the sea sang some serious tunes. Jenson and Wren embraced all of this; their new Winter wear got a good work out!
It was an uplifting experience and such a good lesson for the kids. Living in Cheltenham, extreme weather is hard to come by. We are used to much tamer conditions, (dare I say boring). I like to think of Jenson and Wren as a hardy pair. Monday's naked November day reassured me of this and today's windy Wednesday reinforced that. This was an education for them about the force of Nature and how powerful it can be. Jenson loved testing how far he could lean into the wind before it could hold him no more. He tried to duck under the sand that was being whipped over the beach only to discover that it was too low and he was too big.
It was a prompt start to the day. We were on the beach at 8.45am. The weather was meant to worsen as the day progressed so I wanted to make the most of it. After an hour we battled our way to The Red Barn, our favourite hang out for food. We warmed up over hot chocolates and a hearty breakfast. We stayed there for much longer than I anticipated. For two hours they drew, read, played and watched time pass. Jenson pulled a book about castles and knights out of their children's activity box and we spent a good 30 minutes drawing a tower, looking at the sorts of defences it would have had and then adding the information we had learnt to our picture. He drew a portcullis, a drawbridge, arched windows and a mote. We learnt about knight's armour and how they wore a mail skirt around their waists, (rather than plates) so it didn't impede their movement. Jenson now knows what spurs are and why knights had them on their boots. We thought about kings and what sorts of shoes they might have worn, (red sparkly ones with diamonds according to Jenson!) We enjoyed learning about all of this with the view of the ocean in the backdrop. A brilliant classroom or what!
We made a slow stroll back to the car, not before taking another look at the beach of course. As often as Jenson beats the pulp out of Wren, equally, he can be the most caring big brother. He can demonstrate serious compassion and consideration towards her feelings and can take real time to look after her when he wants to. The picture below is such a moment. He listened to what she was saying and heaved her up so she could see as well.
Scroll a little further down and you'll find a picture of them walking through our garden gate. He has his hand over her head because he was sheltering her from the lashing rain.
We always have a bit of a lull in the afternoons. I had to work out how to empty the shower trap that was blocked with hair and other disgusting debris from past guests. We also had to go and buy some paint so I could touch up discoloured walls. We let the cottage out and have new guests arriving on Friday. These minor issues needed attention.
Taking Jenson and Wren to any form of shop always spells disaster. Jewsons was no different. Paint pots make excellent drums and my leg became some sort of trunk that they both insisted on clinging to so they could be dragged around the floor front first. The more I protested the more they screamed with excitement. Was a pot of paint and a paint brush really worth this?
The day ended on a high. I took them out for a meal at The Red Barn. Craft is my companion these days and I clutched onto it as much as I clutched onto the hope that it might buy me the time to enjoy a large glass of wine! It did! Not only that but we enjoyed a fantastic game of paper aeroplanes. I thought the picture below was funny! Low flying aircraft overhead: WATCH OUT!!