For some weeks now, or even perhaps months, I’ve been hankering after a seaside day. A good run about on the beach with the kids and Thomas, a paddle in the sea, some chips . . . you know the drill. We decided it would be a lovely way to spend a family Valentines Day and made our plans to head out to the coast today. We had contemplated a trip to Crosby to see ‘Another Place’ by Antony Gormley (better known in our house as ‘the dudes in the sand’) . . however after taking advice from friends we decided to save that one for a warmer day when we can take a picnic and spend a day on the sand playing with buckets and spades. We decided to take a run up to Southport, having not been for a number of years we thought it would make for a nice change.
The forecast for today was bright sunshine for the morning and clouding over into the afternoon so we figured it was best to just get up and out. We left the house around 10am and set off. It takes just over an hour to get to Southport from our house and I’d rather hoped that Bo would take advantage of the journey and have a snooze. Sadly not.
The kids were really excited when they realised we were going to the seaside for the day – though I think “seaside” is over egging the pudding a little when it comes to Southport as I certainly couldn’t see any sea today! (A far cry from the East Coast resorts of Whitby, Scarborough and Filey that I grew up with myself). Just a vast expanse of soggy sand covered in a blanket of shells. I’ve never seen anything like it but Ben and Chloe thought it was fab and set about searching for treasures. From the moment we set foot on the sand Amy wasn’t impressed. Despite her double layer of trousers, thick wellie socks, thermal vest etc etc I think the cold and wind was still too much for her. Combined with a lack of sleep and it getting on for lunch time she was nothing short of a right misery. Of course this rather took the edge off for the rest of us – well except for Thomas who thought all his Christmases had come at once and he got very giddy gadding about on the sand like a puppy!
We managed to spend about an hour on the beach but it was pretty hard work; not at all the bracing, refreshing walk I’d hoped for! I had expected that all three kids would have loved the opportunity to have a good chase about on the open sand but Amy just clung to me whinging and I can’t say Chloe was on the best form either . . . What joy.
Hungry tummies and the promise of fish and chips drew us away from the beach and to the end of the pier. Unfortunately all the tables outside the chippy were occupied so we had to leave Thomas in the car and take ourselves inside – the plus side of this was that it was warm! The chips weren’t the best I’ve ever had by a long shot but they went some way to taking the edge off the general state of nithered we were all suffering and everyone finished their dinner in record time!
An old fashioned carousel outside the chip shop caught the eye of the girls with Amy requesting “Ride horsey” but a lack of foresight on our part meant we didn’t have quite enough money on us – which resulted in frustrated tears from Chloe who offered me the coins she had in her pocket (3p to be precise bless her). I was as gutted as the girls really as it would have been a lovely treat to end our less than perfect adventure but sadly it wasn’t to be.
It was something of a relief when Bo gave in to a much needed sleep on the way home and the big two were happy to chat away with one another leaving Dave & I free to talk garden plans, work and tech goals. All the romance right there.
So no, our Valentines trip to Southport wasn’t what we had planned but that’s life. Sometimes things don’t go to plan. Sometimes the kids aren’t in the mood. But hey, at least the sun was shining and it got us out of the house and into the fresh air! Fingers crossed the rest of half term is more successful!