Last week we went down to the coast. It had been planned for a couple of months or so. A kind uncle had loaned us his static caravan for the week. It was going to be great. It was going to be cheap. Everyday on the beach. Swimming in the sea and playing in the sand.
I knew we were hoping. May is always a bit of a gamble on the weather front. That there had been a hot two weeks previous and some hot weather in April had no bearing on how things would be for our week away. Added to that the fact we were going to the beach the outcome really could have been predicted.
As I loaded the car with what seemed to be enough supplies for a month the rain water gushed down the road and over my sandals. Hmmm… already it was feeling like a bad idea. But you know how it is, once plans are made, bags are packed and kids are primed for the off there is no going back.
The drive down was accompanied by the shrill tones of Miranda Richardson reading Horrid Henry stories to the boys. As if they ever need any encouragement. The rain continued relentlessly alternating between unrestrained torrents and miserable half hearted drizzle. As we came closer to our destination the car began to veer buffeted by the winds of the south coast of Kent. Is there something wrong with the steering Mrs Monaxle asked.
The caravan was splendid. The site however was waterlogged in parts with huge puddles sporadically situated around the entire area. Looking on to the *touring field* made me feel slightly superior. Tents and caravan extensions filthy with mud and sitting in shallow pools of murky water.
The supplies were unpacked. The beds were made. Dinner was cooked. We had arrived. The rain stopped. Never mind the clouds and the wind. The rain had stopped. Lets got for a walk along the beach. Coats on and off we went.
The boys are great. Like children reliably do they live very much in the moment that is. There mood is not in the least affected by the adult tendency to let past experience predict the future. They enjoyed the sand and it mattered not to them that the weather was not dissimilar to that which is more normal for mid February.
After some time of leaping down sand banks and near blindness suffered by one as a result of rubbing the stuff into his eyes we trudged back to the van. The rain began to fall again and the wind picked up.
The next day the rain had abated somewhat though it was still pretty dull, cold and windy. Not to be put off sandwiches were made and plans put into action for a day out. The beach was a no no so we drove down to Battle and walked round the site where in 1066 William defeated the English troops and Harold got an arrow through his eye. The boys did brilliantly and only whined occasionally. To their credit they listened quite intently to the audio commentary on the way round and learned a fair bit about the events and the people involved. Those little electronic devices were the closest thing to a Nintendo DS they were getting and they made the most of it!
The rain held off until after lunch and started again as we meandered around the Abbey and gardens. Back to the van for tea and telly.
During the night we were treated to the sound of torrential rain, claps of thunder and flashes of lightning. Two of the boys were unnerved by this. One ended up in our bed and I ended up in his room with the older brother. Whilst I’m of a pretty average build I do move about a bit at night. Single beds just inches wider than I am do not accommodate this to well and on more than one occasion I nearly rolled right out. The fact that I was no more than barely asleep was the only thing that stopped me from ending up on the floor.
Come 6.30am I was up. Wonderful. There was a hit of blue in the sky and I swear the sun was peeking through the otherwise overcast outlook. Feeling encouraged by this breakfast was made and the days destination was chosen. By the time we were ready to go the rain had started again and the wind had picked up once more.
Time for reflection and consideration of what the rest of the week may bring. A cheap holiday by the sea was turning into drives in the car to pricey days out in miserable weather. Someone had to make a decision. I did.
Four hours later we were home. The boys were happy enough. I was happy. Mrs Monaxle less so.
The bad weather persisted for the rest of the week and and in some ways I felt good about that. We went out again but at least it didn’t cost us anything, it was local, and the disappointment of miserable beach weather was less acute that it had been when we were only yards from it.
We are going to Cornwall the third week of August. Based on our track record avoid going there at the same time if you don’t want to be be washed out.