Last Sunday, we had lunch with a family friend who lives fairly near to Widemouth Bay, a beautiful beach on the North Cornwall coast. When we visit Mum and Dad in the summer and have beach days, more often than not we can be found building sandcastles on this beach.
However, when we decided to make the most of the sunshine and take the girls for a walk on the beach after lunch, it looked very different to the scene of our idyllic bank holiday beach day last year. The recent fierce storms have given the beach a battering, so that huge amounts of sand have been swept out to sea and the rocks have eroded at an amazing rate.
After a night of wild gales, the waves were boiling and full of foam. The foam was left scattered all over the beach each time one of these huge waves rolled in & out. Big rocks were found scattered over the usually pristine stretch of sand, and the whole place had such a wild, beautiful feel to it.
Despite the freezing cold weather, Georgie had a whale of a time. Clinging onto Mum’s hand in case she stumbled over any of the rocks hiding beneath the foam, she delighted in running and dancing in the knee-high white “bubbles, just like in the bath” and watching them float away across the beach once disturbed.
She dragged her Grandma repeatedly to the edge of the ocean, paddling in her welly boots in the retreating water, then, after waiting for the very last second, ran screaming with laughter back up the beach, with an incoming wave at her heels.
The stormy sea was beautiful to watch, and unpredictable to stand too close by. On more than one occasion Dad had to retreat up the beach with Lydia in her pushchair, afraid that he wouldn’t be able to get away fast enough from the bigger waves that were crashing to shore.
The sinking sun threw long shadows across the beach, and Georgie waved at her shadow as she skipped in the foam, laughing when she saw the foam flying with it’s own shadow beneath it racing across the sand.
Finally, my protesting toddler was pulled away from the sea, bundled back into the car to head home, warm up, and day dream of building sandcastles some other day, when the stormy skies and sea have calmed, and Widemouth Bay is once again a holidaymaker’s paradise.