Hello there once again. The alium above is to confuse you, because we have no sun. Hail, yes. Rain, yes. Icy wind, oh yes, indeed. However, when one's youngest son requires his smart shoes for his professional practice week in court, one needs to pile into the old trusty vehicle, and head south.
So we made a day of it, and Jean came along for the adventure as well. We fancied a little sea for a change, seeing that I live slap bang in the centre of an island. You cannot get further from the sea, actually. Almost. And it was always regarded as ironic that Geoff lived so far from the sea, seeing that his career was sailing about on the wet stuff all the time.
Anyway, that being said, we went to Dorset. Geoff grew up and lived in Devon, Plymouth, until he met me. And then he moved.
David is doing his Masters at Bournemouth, but his halls of residence are 5 mins from the beach in Poole. I didn't know until yesterday that Poole has the biggest natural harbour in the world. It is huge.
So we went to Poole. Diana loves driving, so she was at the wheel this time. And we got there after a stop for coffee near the M4, and arrived at lunch time. Everyone had a tour of David's accommodation, which is super, and then we went to Poole Quay, which is a working quayside, with ferries, super-yachts, fishing boats, touring boats, yachts, cruisers, launches and every kind of vessel imaginable.
After lunch at our favourite deli, we wandered along the quay, and a little old lady offered to take a group photo. It soon transpired that she had last held a camera roughly 45 years ago, and the digital age was a little confusing, but she soldiered on, and our grins were fixed, and eureka, she managed this!
Jean, Mum, aka Granny, David, Diana and moi. My mother is less grey than I am. And I am looking horrendously faded and grey. #Iamnotgoingthererightnow.
Birds. Yachts. Greyness. Water. But no rain.
After lunch, we piled into the car and drove to Sandbanks. Very, very nice area, on a sort of isthmus. Boats on one side. Houses in the middle. Beach on the other side. A sandy beach. Be still my heart. I come from Africa, where the beaches are white and sandy and beautiful and soft. And the UK is known for its pebble beaches. Not here, though. The shoes were off, and I was off too. Heading for the water.
There I am drawing on the sand. Watched by mother, Jean and David. Diana and I were the only 2 who took the shoes off and rolled up the jeans. We are women of steel.
We have a whole bunch of photos from all over the place, with the place-name written, or made from sticks or stones and so on, so Poole joined the collection. Actually it is between Poole and Bournemouth and in fact the two places blend into one. My first artistic attempt looked like "poop", my daughter decided. She had a point. So I redid it.
And here we have Diana with Granny. Granny did not remove her shoes.
But I did. Actually, the water wasn't icy cold at all. I chatted to the 2 life guards, who were not being rushed off their feet at the time, and they said that yes, people had been down to swim, but that the water was roughly 5 degrees Centigrade colder than normal for this time of year. I am not surprised. So far, this has been the coldest Spring since 1979 or somewhere round there. Why am I not surprised?? My stick enjoyed the paddle too.
The water line was marked by a band of shells - and I just love this photo. Straight out of the camera.. The Isle of Wight is somewhere in the distance.
And then my daughter decided to play with the camera and took this photo of the two of us. I am even greyer than I thought. She, on the other hand, is stunning.
The seagulls were having a discussion. Unfazed by our presence.
And the little boats were waiting for the tide to come in.
And then it was time to leave, so we went back to Poole Quay, dropped my son and his shoes and paraphernalia and headed back north, passing "Downton Abbey" on the way. Diana was gutted that it was not open on a Wednesday. Ah well, we can always go later on and see it all. You do have to book tickets well in advance, I gather. It is very popular.
I wonder why???! (Hahaha)
So, home. I flopped. I was oh, so weary. But David has his shoes, and I paddled in the sea. We saw the yacht we felt we needed. We took masses of photos. We had an adventure. And the car survived the outing. So did we.