Sunday, 5 May 2013

Spring gets a little springier

It has been so cold this year. Winter seems to be finally losing its grip though. We had one day this week when the wind dropped, the sun shone and it was glorious - proper 'sit in the garden in a t-shirt' weather.

It seemed almost an insult when succeeding days dawned grey and gloomy. Especially Saturday which needed to be sunny as we had planned to join a guided walk on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path from Solva to Newgale. I had to abandon my plans to go though, as I am recovering from Slapped Cheek Syndrome - a virus which is relatively mild in children but fells adults like trees. It starts with flu-like symptoms, continues with an alarming meningitis-type rash and then attacks your joints - particularly hands, wrists, knees and feet - like sudden and acute arthritis. The only thing to do is sit it out with ibuprofen and rest, but it lasts for weeks at the very least with some suffering joint pain and stiffness for months or years.

So a strenuous coastal walk was out of the question (stairs being enough of a challenge at the moment). Instead H11 joined her friends G11 and her Mum Lins and other friends from school and guides with associated jolly dogs. It made for a happy group of walkers and the sun beamed on them for the entire trip. Meanwhile, the rest of us, Brian, R9 and I, joined G11's dad Jon to wait at Newgale for the intrepid walkers.

A cruel onshore wind slapped at our cheeks but undeterred, sausages were barbecued, coffee and hot chocolate were made, and we had a lovely picnic in the sunshine. The hardier types then continued their walk on to Broad Haven while the children stayed behind for a spot of body boarding. The tide came right in and lapped at our toes while Atlantic waves foamed and crashed - perfect conditions, if a little cold and windy for the spectators.

But it was a lovely afternoon. My opinion of beach trips is that they are pretty much camping but without the need for tents and sleeping bags. So I do pack a kettle, stove, jars of coffee, hot chocolate, milk, water and proper mugs. There's nothing finer for the soul than sitting with friends on a beach, cuddling a mug of hot coffee, warmly snuggled under a cosy quilt with a dachshund for added warmth.

Body boarding children need hot chocolate at this time of year too. That's also a fact that should be law! As is not changing at the beach - wrap aforementioned children in towels and picnic blankets and head directly home. Throw straight in shower until rewarmed.

Hopefully that is the first of many beach trips this year - 2012 was the 'year we watched the Olympics (while it rained every blinking day)'. Perhaps 2013 can be 'the year we went body boarding all the time'. Time will tell!