January draws to a close. One month ago this evening – on New Year’s Eve – it was wet. Torrentially wet. The tale of our attempts to enjoy the NYE celebrations at Looe may resurface at more length one day but for now I shall say only that the weather played a significant, and not very pleasant, role. B’s face probably says it all.
One week later saw us out again after nightfall. I had the notion to stroll through the darkened streets to Polperro Harbour and soak up the atmosphere of the quiet village on Twelfth Night. It was raining. Again. We didn’t experience the kind of soaking I’d had in mind. I loved it anyway, but Bernie…. Shall we just say he didn’t enjoy it quite so much.
Since then we have been away for a couple of days to a quirky old hotel in the middle of Dartmoor (which will have a post all of its own). For now, let me just mention that it rained. (And also that Bernie did enjoy it.)
So it’s January: in January it rains. Except that last January was wonderfully dry. This year…. Well, not so much. The word everyone is using to describe this January is unoriginal but apt: WET. The view from here has been aqueous.
Which is why – as we wave farewell to this damp and sodden month – I’m going to close it with a look back at another watery period. It was the closing days of October. Like now, it was mild. And misty. And damp. Wet, to be honest.
But a particular day stands out where water was certainly involved and almost everyone got very wet indeed, but no rain fell. It was a beautiful day. We made our first visit to Talland Bay.
Talland is very close to us. As is often the case, the places on your doorstep seem to get overlooked. But Ellie, Steve and the boys were staying with us and the boys do love a beach and it wasn’t raining so we decided to give Talland a try.
It was delightful. I’ll skip over the long and careful drive down the winding narrow lane which is the only way to reach the bay. Ellie did remind me afterwards that I’d suggested they try Talland when they stayed in the summer of 2016. Steve had been required to reverse a very long way back up the narrow lane, already congested with parked cars. I forget how far he had to reverse. I imagine Ellie and Steve could remind me in the blink of an eye. Perhaps this explains why Bernie and I hadn’t tried to visit Talland before.
Anyway, on this mild Sunday morning in October we found spaces in the car park easily. There were warnings of plentiful and poisonous Portuguese man o’ war in local waters. We didn’t see any but we did see some fantastical specimens of seaweed. The first of the season’s storms had thrown mountains of kelp high on the sand. I found myself thinking about alien life forms …
The enticing rock pools were much more to my liking.
The seaweed mountains had a grotesque, prehistoric look to them. The stratified rocks also seemed of another world. And the rock pools were miniature worlds all of their own requiring careful examination.
The boys and their dad scaled rocky outcrops.
And a wonderful time was had by all.
No one would have guessed that most of the party were very damp indeed.
The watery part began within seconds of us arriving on the sand. First Ben slipped in. Wet to his waist, his parents fashioned a makeshift ‘dress’ from his brother’s coat. Once he’d warmed up and got over the shock of the cold water, he accepted his new wardrobe with aplomb.
Then Evan and Bernie – investigating rock pools out of our line of sight – reappeared looking distinctly damp. I’m not quite sure what happened. I believe Evan waded in enthusiastically and Bernie followed suit to retrieve him. Both were wet from the knees down; neither seemed to care a jot. Steve got wet whilst comforting Ben after his ducking and Ellie got wet because…. Let’s just say it’s never a good plan to go paddling wearing wellies with a large hole up the back seam.
So the only person who stayed dry was me. I was rather proud of that. And secretly rather thankful because if I had got wet I would have made a fuss. Everyone else just accepted their dampness with a shrug.
We rounded off the morning in a cosy open beach hut. The adults chose warming things like hot chocolate. The boys – of course – chose chocolate but in the frozen form.
It was a lovely local trip – and set the tone for the rest of Ellie’s stay. This was just the start: water and wet feet went on to feature a lot. Just like this January in fact – where I’ve got wet more times than I care to remember. February beckons. I’m hoping it might be drier. I won’t be holding my breath on that one though.