Langland of hope and glory

View from the beach hut

“Take me to the beach”, so warbled All Saints, with their song, Pure Shores, that acompanied the Danny Boyle directed ‘The Beach’. Swansea may not have been Thailand but you know what, as we walked up and down every twist and turn of the path as we headed to our sandy destination, each new reveal of coast was more impressive than the last.

The expanse of rock, sand and surf, which drew lots of folks with boards, was made all the more fantastic by the sun deciding to make a special appearance at Langland, near Swansea in South Wales.

We were visiting our friends Alison and Mark, who were lucky enough to have the use of some rather lovely beach huts which look over the sea and this rather lovely stretch of the Gower Peninsula.

Of course, it wasn’t long before we hit the beach, complete with buckets and spades.

The day before Evie and Isabelle had been drawn to water in the form of puddles, today it was in the shape of the sea which they could soon be found racing towards…and Isabelle could sound be found sans trousers and just in her nappy and top, not that she ever let such a small thing as clothes stop her from doing anything!

Living in Southend-on-Sea (a trade descripton in terms as the Sea section is in actual fact the Thames Estuary – which to be fair Southend-on-Estuary doesn’t exactly have the same ring or fit on postcards quite so snuggly) we have rather got used to the sight of chimney stacks on our sea horizon and our pebbled beaches.

But this was something else entirely, this was a delightful assault on the senses and almost felt as if we had come across an undiscovered cove.

Never needing much of an excuse to let her (increasingly not so) little legs raceaway as fast as they will carry here, Isabelle mustered a pretty fine Chariots of Fire run across the beach homage, or should that be Highlander?

Despite the sun and blue skies (or should that be blew skies) it was still pretty windy, which no doubt is the reason I ended up catching a bit of colour.

Sarah even took to the sand, no mean feat as she is a well known hater of the gritty stuff when it gets between your toes etc. Still, anything for Isabelle.

Both Evie and Isabelle were pretty much inseperable all weekend and on the beach they could often be found being practically one another’s shadows – each one keeping up with the other no matter how fast they went or what direction they went in.

After sunning ourselves on the warm golden sand it was time to head back on up to the beach hut where we were fortunate – if that is indeed the right word – to witness the world premiere of a joint interpritive dance that could only be described as bucket dancing. See those handles twist through the air with the greatest of ease…sure to be an Olympic event by Rio 2016.

Taking a break from spinning round the pair then went back out and hit the sand, discovering the largest puddle – practically a lake by two year old standards – on the beach. Thankfully Isabelle didn’t feel the need to jump up and down in it, especially as we didn’t bring a change of clothes down to the beach.

Having worn themselves out Isabelle and Evie then needed to build ther energy back up with, what else, but some chocolate ice cream. They had to be quick off the mark those as it was the world’s fastest melting ice cream I had ever seen. Needless to say they loved it, even if it did get more than a little bit gloopy.

I took this moment of relative calm and relaxation to do do my best ‘Chief Brody’ impression and borrowed Alison and Mark’s binnoculars to scan the coast  which is all part and parcel of doing proper dad stuff.  I always remember remember my dad having a giant pair, we are talking the size of those you see in WW2 films, wherever we went on holiday.

Storm brewing from the beach hut

Obviously I was doing more dad posing than scanning up and down the coast as I failed to spot the approaching bad weather which came in from practically nowhere!

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