Monday evening forecast "Summer returns for one day only tomorrow" For the South East that is, the North and particularly Scotland are in for torrential rain and gales.I check the tide tables and see that high tide is early afternoon tomorrow so a swim looks likely.Had very little opportunity to do this for some time with the awful weather we have had this summer.
I arise expectantly at 7.30 am to cloudy and overcast skies and assume the forecasters got it wrong again. Then around 10.0 am the clouds clear revealing a beautiful blue sky with the promise of 80f. I fly around getting the beach gear together (in a hot summer it would be all packed and ready) and prepare a picnic while Alan packs the car, trying to look like we are not leaving for a week!
We arrive at the beach and it is hot enough for us to buy a couple of parasols that clip to our chairs having left our large one at home. We enjoy our picnic with the high tide time giving ample opportunity to enjoy the newspaper before swimming.
It's time to put my toes in the water - it is freezing - the icy cold water is a shock to my system. This water in the mouth of the estuary is the North Sea after all. I sit awhile letting the waves crash over me then ease my way into the water an inch at a time, stepping over the jellyfish that are basking in the shallows, and I know I have made it when the sea reaches the top of my shoulders. As my body acclimatises the water begins to feel warmer and I realise once again why it is so worth the effort to do this. I feel invigorated to the point of a new lease of life and I thoroughly enjoy my swim while Alan sits and reads his book.He does not like swimming and even less cold water! Before we leave one must have an ice-cream while sitting on the beach, especially when it is Cornish Dairy with Butterscotch swirls and caramel chunks.
Some time later we drive back along the river towards London and stop off at this restaurant/cum bar for afternoon tea.
And continue to enjoy the water from a different perspective
Further along the river on our way home we stop for a walk in the early evening sun before eating here. Fish and Chips are a tradition at English seaside towns and are usually very good as the fish is fresh from the sea. This line of small cafes are built under the arches of the road above and have been here for well over 100 years. The menus vary and are always good and wholesome but they all sell fish and chips, something that is a treat to us as we have them so rarely.
We watch the ships sail down the river as we eat on the pavement under the awnings
The Cod was very tender and succulent (yes I cut into it before I thought to take a photo)
Next door and at the top of the hill is the theatre (The Cliff's Pavilion.) No, we won't go, I am in shorts and not dressed for it even if there are any unsold seats.