Courtesy of my father in law and his wife, I am now sitting in the kitchen of a cottage in North Wales. Out the window is the sea. Rolling, cold, completely impenetrable by small children and their blow up boats, but the sea. And the beach, pebbles and sand, raised at the top by trucks and tractors and things who are unfortunately still here (although today, Sunday, they are home). And the rain, which flic-flocs on the windows at regular intervals. There'll be more of that during our stay, according to the people in charge.
On the other side of the cottage, out the front door, is a pub: the Railway Tavern. I'm already wondering whether it'll will be possible to leave the kids while they're sleeping and nip over for a quick one. It's such a small road – it has that miniature feel that old England (sorry – Wales) often has, the crowdedness, the lack of space between one tiny house and the next, the feeling that you can probably lean out the window just a bit and do your shopping. On the other hand, there's the lock barrier – also typical – the double glazed windows which means we won't hear Max's pitiful screams when he wakes up and can't find us, and the awkward front door lock, where you have to raise the handle as far as it will go to turn the key, and then you hear that plasticky 'clic' which means you can't open the door from inside or outside. I guess they'll do takeaways. In the meantime I'll focus on the sea-side view which clearly has learnt to look its best in the clouds.
That it's cold or raining, and that Max has been ill all day - with the obligatory puking on the way to the airport - is of course no argument for staying out of the sea, as I find out when I try to convince the children. That very afternoon we're in the water, jumping over waves. I am reminded of summers in Brittany when the water cannot have been much warmer, and the sky was a similar shade of grey. I must have whooped as loud as my own children then. Now I'm just cold. Alright – maybe a little excited at being in the sea too. Some things never get old.
More in a little while...
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