Tag Archives: Swansea

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!

Two go mad in Wales

Isabelle and Evie have only met once before and that was only nearly a year ago at Isabelle’s christening. When we all visited Evie’s mum and dad, Alison and Mark, in South Wales I guess in retrospect there was no guarantee that both would hit it off, but hit it off they did and each could be found bringing both the best and the mischevious out in each other.

Virtually inseperable from the beginning it wasn’t long before the terrible twosome, well okay one is two and the other is nearly two, were busy scheming and plotting and running and chasing and generally having a ruddy good time.

The way they were both zipping up and down the front you’d think that it was the title sequence from Trainspotting, but I guess being in Wales we’d have to be more Twin Town.

Isabelle zipping here…





Evie zipping there…





Our first destination was Swansea Bay, being Wales it had of course rained so there were plenty of puddles, which was great news for both Iz and Evie who spent most of the time running up to each puddle and jumping up and down in them with great delight.

Despite being hundreds of miles away Southend never seemed too far away, even turning up on this sign!

At the end of this bracing sea front walk was lunch, which was yummy, and saw everyone, kids included, tucking into some lovely food…but what really got Isabelle and Evie really rather excited was the size and choice of desserts which we all more than walked off with the walk back up the “was it really this steep coming down?” hill.

And, just like they had shared their laughter, the puddles, their squeals of delight and the pizza that had come before it, they also shared a stonking great big piece of chocolate cake…

Not that they intended on sharing it with anyone one else of course!

We did of course share in their fun and in several splashes from their puddles as well.

Honey, I blew up the Iz

We were in a lovely and sunny (you can close your mouths now) part of South Wales at the weekend near Swansea. Isabelle loves her beaches and her running (I’ve yet to show her that scene from Chariots of Fire or Highlander where they run along the beach but I am sure she will love them), so that is exactly what she did.

In this particular still, Iz is in her nappy as her trousers had got wet in the sea, Isabelle looks more God-iz-lla like or Attack of the 50ft Toddler as she ‘towers’ over the ant-like people* below her.

*No Welsh people were hurt in the taking of this photo (or soon after taking it)