Wednesday, 9 September 2009

A Swim in the Sea

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.

Return home instead with time to make this 50th Wedding Anniversary card for some friends,reminding me again that we celebrate our own later in the year!!


Sara at Come Away With Me said...

A day at the beach! Somehow I never imagined this for Londoners...shows how much I don't know even after spending a little time there.

Don't you like mushy peas? The fish and chips do look so very tasty!

I'm glad you had at least one more day of summer and that you and Alan enjoyed it so much.

Re my neighbor's trash bin, the mauve ones are for recycling items; the brown ones are for regular rubbish. We put both out on Mondays and two different trucks come by to collect them.

Anonymous said...


Is that Thorpebay, Southend on Sea? That bar looks a great place to sit and watch the world go by!. We often go to Barton on Sea and they have a cafe on the cliff which is a great place for eating and looking out to sea and the Isle of Wight.

We went to Ferring with my sister when she was here recently from Australia but it was quite a windy day!!

You can't beat fish and chips when you are at the seaside and yes, I love mushy peas but my hubby doesn't!


Lorrie said...

Oh, you are a brave one. I do not like cold water at all, although I do love swimming.

It sounds like you thoroughly enjoyed one last day of summer. All the water views are so pretty.

a woman who is said...

I clicked on the card to see your work up close. I loved the design flair your put into this one with such simple touches.

How close are you to the beach? Sounded like a perfect day.
I must admit I had the best ever Fish and Chips in England. I was stunned by the whole fish fillet that they serve. We just get bits and pieces. Mmmmm looks so yummy!

Maree said...

Have a friend who just got back to the states from Scotland...every day while she was there she posted on facebook...rain, gales, lots of rain. She's writing a book, so it helped her stay on task.

We don't have words like "the sea" lovely.

We get the best fish and chips here that look like yours at The Irish Rover...our favorite! Yours look ever so good!


Anonymous said...

Where exactly did you swim?
What was the water temperature?
So invigorating........or something like that.
We used to swim at Thorpe Bay in the most awful weather!

Barb said...

Hi Barbara,

You are one brave lady. Way too cold for me but i am an Arizona wimp!
Your day looks like it was just perfect.

I have been catching up on missed posts. Oliver and Rebekah are precious. What a gift from God!
I have to tell you that I think you take the best pictures!


Anonymous said...

We are having some lovey sunshine aren't we? It was 25C here yesterday and up to 18 here today, so we took the hounds round the Botanic at Churchtown.

I was exactly like you in New Quay getting into the sea. So worth it though. I swam every day. Far better than breathing in chlorine in an indoor pool. I hope you felt invigorated for days afterwards.

Elizabethd said...

I think you are very brave! Sea swimming doesnt appeal to me nowadays, an it did look rather chilly!

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

I am glad you and your husband had a nice vacation. I love pictures of ships and boats!
Have you ever been to Lyme Regis? They have a web cam and I go often to look and I see a beautiful place I hope one day to visit.
Tracy :)

Schnitzel and the Trout said...

What a lovely day you had, and a last swim of the season. When we lived on the east coast of Florida, we always would go to the beach to watch the sunrise on January 1. I remember meeting a woman there, in her early 70's, who would always take the first swim of the year in the Atlantic. She was always cold, but it was so important for her to do this.

Linda said...

What a great day. I love the beach too but I seldom get in the water. I watch my husband from the shore under an umbrella.

zetor said...

Thankyou for your kind words and prayers following my FIL's death.

Kate said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed your swim - it certainly was a glorious day!

Willow said...

Lovely day! I'm not a fan of mushy peas, either. But I do love fish and chips!

Thanks for sharing your beach day!

Wright Family said...

Oh I just got homesick looking at the sea pics and the fish and chips! And you took a dip! How cold was it?