Sunday, 27 September 2009

Life's a Beach

The beach beckoned on a beautiful hot and sunny day, at the end of September. Heavens, if this is global warming, I'm all for it. I felt I should make the perfect picnic, a savoury delicacy such as a quiche (easy to transport), dainty sandwiches with select fillings, and a fruit tart, oh how I love a tart, as does handsome husband, who it transpires does sometimes consider what he should wear, because as I am so annoyingly organised and as I do every year I had packed away the summer wardrobe, except for a few select pieces that can cross over into autumn/winter with the addition of other items. I, along with the rest of the gorgeous people of this crazy island we live on, assume that September is the end of what we Brits call summer, but this year we were all wrong, and those naughty weather men and women didn't even have the courtesy to inform us that autumn was to become summer - oh it is all so confusing.

It was easy for handsome husband, as he, being so hardy, often wears shorts in the cooler weather, although when it's really chilly he will bung a cashmere sweater over his t-shirt. He was all fixed up for the days outing, shorts and t-shirt - no problem. Kids too, were fine and opted for similar outfits so they all looked like mini husbands. What about me, I wailed from the top of the stairs. I was told to pull myself together and look for something suitable in my vast wardrobe. Luck was in my favour, as I skimmed along the rails, there peeking out at me was a jewel of a dress from Allegra Hicks (who incidentally also does some beautiful homewares). I had grabbed it off the rail of a little boutique in a very nearby town, only two weeks ago, from the sale rail (ssshhh don't tell a soul), it was a complete bargain and I felt at the time rather proud to have spotted it, and knew it was not so fashionable to only be worn once or twice (at a push), and that I would get some wear out of it next summer - whenever that may be.

We arrived in what seemed like super quick time, now living so near to the sea what used to take hours is now a breeze of a journey. It was utterly idyllic, picturesque, surprisingly peaceful and very hot. The kids zoomed off for the water, while I laid out our towels, buckets and spades, beach games, balls, water wings, cutlery, glasses, liquid refreshment, picnic and, oh no in my haste to be out of the house and anticipating thousands of other families doing exactly the same thing and going in exactly the same direction, and wanting to be sure of good pitch on the beach I had forgotten the most important item we Brits really do need when the weather is unexpectedly good - suncream - oh hell, it would be ok for the kids as they could keep their t-shirts and sun hats on, and handsome husband goes ruggedly golden without burning and can survive well without suncream, I, however, being fair skinned was in a right fix, and I could already feel my delicate skin beginning to tingle.

As any girl, pushed to the limit would do, I began to cry, I think it was the torment knowing the facial I had only two days previously would now completely go to waste. I felt retched, and was getting hotter and hotter. Handsome husband sat down next to me on our White Company beach towels and began delving into the picnic hamper. My eyes now bleary with tears, I couldn't make out what he was doing until after a few moments he held up a hat made from linen napkins, it was the most beautiful sight, and I placed it on my hot head. He then fiddled around some more with the remainder of the napkins and, hey presto a gorgeous shawl to cover my shoulders. A man of so many talents!

The kids thought I looked very "funky" with my new accessories and began to tuck into the delicious picnic. Yum, yum they all declared and then the little one looked around for something to wipe his sticky chops on, and, just this once I turned a blind eye when he lowered his head and used his t-shirt to remove the messy smear from his mouth, and gave him a big sandy kiss.

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