I blame my parents. I always do. They have a lot to answer for. I’ve mentioned how my parents got me interested in gardening in an earlier blog. They also got me going out for a run. Not a run as in run. But a Sunday afternoon ‘ run ‘ in the car. To the coast. Barry island – long before Gavin and Stacey made it popular. Porthcawl. . Llantwit Major. Ogmore. Macross Beach – Penarth. To Cefn Onn to see glorious Azaleas and Rhododendron – to Dyffryn Gardens a National Trust property and garden. To see Concorde land at Rhoose airport now Cardiff Airport. It did land there a few times in the 70s but because the runway was short couldn’t take off with passengers!!! So we went places on a Sunday – Anywhere really – a Sunday afternoon run.
So when we have friends staying at the weekend what do we do? Go for a run. It’s in the blood. To the coast. To a garden. A bit more adventurous than my parents. But it has stuck.last week we had a friend staying. Not at the weekend but mid week. – so It was a midweek run. Better really as it was quieter. We are lucky living where we do as there is plenty of choice. Plenty of local National Trust properties. Gardens. Coastline. So what to do. Well.Day one had to be the coast.
First of all Food. Breakfast. An hours ‘run’ would take us to Hive Beach Cafe my favourite coastal cafe. Phew. Boy was it a windy one. The weather. Not the breakfast. Food was awesome as usual. Good full English breakfast followed with a walk on the beach. Well more of a stand up while catching your breath whilst the wind tried to blow you into next week. Waves crashing. Wind whistling – so unlike our visit a month earlier where we could sit outside. The crumbling Jurassic coastline cliffs are spectacular. A great place for old fossils. Like us. A great place for kids – why because there nothing there!! Except the Cafe and ice cream. Though nestled just above is the smart new Seaside boarding House.
I decided we’d drive around the Coast as we couldn’t walk along the beach. The tide was in an we were in danger of being blown away. Plus I’d combed my hair.
Being fans of Boadchurch West Bay was next. If you thought Burton Bradstock was windy we nearly lost the car door. we certainly were not wearing harmony either – Hair all over the place. West bay has changed a fair bit over the years. New flats. Caravan park. It’s not my favourite place. The cliffs and beach are spectacular but it doesn’t have the charm of some of the others.
Walking on the Beach the wind was taking the small pebbles off the ground and hitting you as you walked along! Bracing. You bet. I say walking but it was more of – well a bit like when I bought MBT trainers. When I wore them I didn’t look like I was walking more like I was rolling from side to side. Like I was chewing toffees. They are still in the cupboard somewhere.
There was no sign of anyone from Broadchurch – not much sign of life at all really. The harbour was almost empty. The town very quiet. In fact perfect! Except for the wind. I recall that Harbour Lights was filmed here too.
Next was a short skip and a jump to Lyme Regis through torrential rain. I love Lyme. The coloured beach huts all standing to attention on the beach edge. I love the Cobb sweeping out into the harbour. The little sandy beach area in summer so packed you can’t move. People getting changed into and from swimsuits with towels strategically wrapped. A struggle to get the budgie smugglers off. Hopping on one leg then the other. Scared the towel would drop and the seagulls would come swooping.
It reminds me of days on the beach with the family in Wales. Bucket. Spade. Sun. Memories of getting lost on Barry island beach and ending up in the lost children’s area. My dad said he did it on purpose. You know what. I believe him. And no. I wasn’t 14.
The sun came out long enough for a walk along the cobb. Re enacting the scene from the French Lieutenants woman. Well. I wasn’t brave enough to walk on the top bit. It was just like the scene in the film. Wind lashing the waves across the top. I don’t walk there even when it’s still. I’m always scared I will slip off! Decades ago we went mackrell fishing out of Lyme. We caught some. Friends gutted and cooked them. I didn’t eat. I think I was still feeling queasy after Ian nearly lost his finger to fishing wire on the trip. Funny. We haven’t been fishing since.
There was only one further place to go. My favourite place. Beer. Not as in Beer. But Beer. A place we’ve spent many bracing New Year’s Day walks with friends. And god kids. Lunching at the Anchor pub at the top of the hill. Buying glass in the fabulous little galleries. Small. Perfectly formed. Fish. Boats. Wind. A great place to buy fresh fish. Which we didn’t.
Time to drive home ready for A cuppa tea and more food – a fab supper at Matts Kitchen to end a great day. Tomorrow’s another day. A walk around Stourhead.
But I will be back. There’s a silver surfer deal at Hive Beach Cafe for the over 55’s. there are some benefits to getting older after all!