An evening at the beach

WARNING – This post is overloaded with photos!

Remember summer? You know, that bit of nice weather we had a week or two ago? I managed to take advantage of it by going to the beach one night after school. I really, really, really wanted to go and visit the great new Yarnbombing at Saltburn. I have posted about the Saltburn Yarnbombings before (you can find the posts here and here) so I felt the need to catch up on the wooly happenings down the coast. This time I managed to drag The Husband along too, thanks to the privilege of working flexi-time.

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First we set ourselves up on the sand with our blanket and picnic and indulged in the usual seaside pursuits of digging, burying and  ‘foraging’. Babykins was completely tickled with the experience of having his feet buried in the sand.

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The foraging in the pools underneath the pier was fruitful. We caught a few tiny flat fish and shrimp, though I only got a picture of the flat fish. I have never caught anything like it before. It was perfectly camouflaged – almost transparent with tiny brown dots all over it.

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We ate fish and chips and ice cream and eventually decided to head for the top of the pier, where the yarnbombing was located. By this time it was getting quite late and we were running out of dry clothes for Babykins. I think we were the last family with young children off the beach (tut, tut).

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The Yarnbombing was fabulous. Bigger than the last two I’ve seen here and so much fun. I photographed it all and I have been hard pushed to take out many of the images, I love them all. So, here goes photo overload. If you haven’t been to see it or if you are far away, I hope you enjoy it

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So, there you have it. Somebody worked long and hard on that lot! What was your favourite. I think mine is the fish and chips, though the donkeys ‘Knit and Purl’ are very cute too. Did you notice the crochet? I was very pleased to see some of that. What a lot of inspiration….

Out and about on a school night

The appearance of the sun on Monday galvanised me into action. I have been wanting to go to Saltburn again to view the new Jubilee themed yarnbombing. I packed up the car with sand toys and a picnic, scooped up the children as quickly as I could from school and headed over there. It was still half past four by the time we arrived. Nothing ever happens fast round here.

By the time I had unloaded the children from the car and attempted to squeeze all my bags under the pushchair, time was running out. The cliff lift was only open until 5, the yarnbombing was at the top and there was no way I was pushing my groaning pushchair up that hill. We just had enough time to go to the top, inspect the knitting and ride back down again.

It was very satisfactory actually. I am so impressed with the skill and sense of humour of the knitter or knitters. Riding the cliff lift is a fun experience. The inside is wide enough for a pushchair or wheel chair. You get a lovely view out to sea and the windows themselves are worth looking at. They have beautiful stained glass that my photo really doesn’t do justice to.

Once we were back down at promenade level and had negotiated the inevitable toilet stop, we had a little walk on the pier to see the Olympic yarnbombing. But there was no holding the children back – they were ready for some sand action. They scampered off onto the beach via the steps. I was left with the fun task of trying to get Babykins and the pushchair down the very rutted and ridged stone slope (see first picture).

I was tickled by how the older two had arranged their shoes. They were wedged in behind a big rock “Keeping the sand out of them, Mum”. Wishful thinking.

They indulged in much digging and fetching of water, the eternal childhood pleasures of a trip to the seaside. It felt as if it was the first time that I had been able to sit back and let them get on with it. When they were younger I think I supervised the sandcastle building a bit too much. Nowadays I am just too preoccupied with keeping an eye on Babykins to worry too much about the older ones.

I finally managed to get the picnic out and persuade the children to keep a bucket of water nearby to rinse their sandy hands in. Nevertheless, I think Babykins managed to ingest his fair share of sand. Why is it that at home, he is very keen on using cutlery but when his hands are holding half the beach he thinks its a good idea to use his fingers?

Despite my preparations, there was one essential piece of kit that I had left behind. I normally have my swiss army knife in my bag (you never know when you might need scissors or tweezers) but typically, on the day when the ring pull came off our can of sweetcorn, I’d taken it out.

No problem, Son Number One had the answer.

Him: “Why don’t you take it up to one of the cafes and see if they’ll open it for you Mum?”.

Me: “Yes son, but I don’t want to pack up all our stuff and I don’t want to leave you guys on the beach on your own”.

Him: “I can do it”.

I pondered for a moment. He’s at the age where he wants to be more independent. He needs the practice at asking for things from people like shop assistants. Not long ago he would have been terrified of the idea of speaking to someone he didn’t know. I would be able to see him the whole time and there were no traffic issues.

Me: Alright then, off you go.

Result! The kind ice cream parlour owner helped us out. She was even sensible enough not to send him back with a sharp can lid. What my boy will do for sweetcorn.

Time was getting on again and Babykins was starting to get cold. The Middle Miss requested an ice cream and I was happy to oblige. They had done a good job with their picnic tea in difficult (sandy) conditions and I was all in the mood for treats. Alas, the ice cream shop had been shutting when Son Number One went to get our can opened. Instead, we had a couple of portions of chips and sat up on the prom to eat them. As far as I am concerned it’s practically obligatory to eat chips when you go to the seaside.

As we sat, the light changed. The sun shone just that bit more and was lower in the sky. It really lit up the beach beautifully.

We decided to finish our trip by walking the full length of the pier.

You can just about make out the cliff lift in this picture. The carriages are half way up because it is closed.

The shadows were really starting to lengthen as we headed back to the car. It was half past eight by the time I got them home and into bed but I had one of the best trips with my children that I’ve ever had.

I don’t regret going out on a ‘school night’ though I wouldn’t stay out as long on a regular basis. In the ‘summer’ we are having, you’ve got to take the chance when you can.

I hope enjoyed reading about our little trip. Make the most of the the sun today because tomorrow it’s going to rain. Again. A lot.

The Saltburn Yarnbomber

You might have seen the ‘Saltburn Yarnbomber‘ in the news recently. I couldn’t resist taking the family to view it tonight. Son Number One has to write a ‘non-chronological report in the third person’ (I’m rolling my eyes at that) about the Olympics this week so I thought he might benefit from some knitted inspiration.

Somebody had a lot of fun making this. We had almost as much fun going to visit it. Saltburn (by-the-sea, though no one locally gives the place it’s Sunday name) is a pretty little town with a clean beach, great views of the local cliffs and the only pier for miles.

It’s popular with surfers too so it has a slightly cooler vibe than other local beaches and there’s usually something to watch in the water. The Yarnbomber, whoever he, she or they may be have done a wonderful thing for the local businesses. There have been lots of extra visitors to the town. The great weekend weather probably helped too. Here are some pictures for you to enjoy. I’m not sure that I have labelled them all correctly. You decide.

Volleyball, Cycling, Pole vault, Equestrian, 

Spectators?, Shooting, Gymnastics

Skiing, More Gymnastics?, Para-Olympian, Still More Gymnastics

Weight Lifting, Swimming, Cycling at the Velodrome, Olympic Rings

Canoeing, Sailing, Synchronised Swimming, Swimming

Weight Lifting, Synchronised Swimming, Football, Boxing

Not a bad effort all in all. There were a few more but my computer was starting to steam with all the megabytes (or whatever you call them) that I was uploading.

Now how about some family pictures? As you would expect, the children had a great time on the beach, even if it was only for an hour.

 

It didn’t take long for them to get fully into the spirit of things and go paddling. Babykins didn’t know what to do first, there were so many dogs and seagulls to spot. He had no fear of the sea either. At least he didn’t eat the sand today. He seems to have got the idea of using his little spade to dig in it. Maybe I dare book a beach holiday this year after all.