I’ve been struggling to blog recently. I’m so behind on commissioned writing. During term time, remote schooling (which is completely different to homeschooling sadly) takes up most of my time and energy and even if I do have any time left after general parenting, cooking and cleaning, I feel too tired to do anything. I told myself I’d catch up during half term but seemingly forgot that kids (and life) keep me busy even during the holidays-oops. I find myself now on a Saturday afternoon with a small pocket of time spare while I wait for the mopped kitchen floor to dry (my life is so exciting, even more, exciting than watching paint dry!) to quickly write up a “days out” (well “walk form home”) post. Any sensible person, of course, would instead use this time wisely and tackle the paid work first but I always find allowing myself a release, a time to randomly write, allows me to be more productive with the more formal writing. There is some method to my madness (maybe?). Anyway, apologies that our days-out posts are going to be repeated during the lockdown months/years, as there’s only so far we can walk from home. I promise they’ll all be different in other ways. So, here’s another trip to our local beach Gellicwick, where we found some special finds such as mermaid’s purses:
Izzy is currently reading The Water Horse with her class at school. We have the book at home as Danny loved all Dick King-Smith books when he was younger. Oh, I miss the days of reading to him (he’s 17 now!). She’s showing such great restraint and won’t allow herself to read ahead as I’m tempted to! We also have the film ready to watch and she doesn’t want to watch it until they have finished reading the class novel. In the book, as you may guess from the title, they find something that looks like a Mermaid’s Purse but a lot bigger, so Izzy wanted to find a Mermaid’s Purse on her beach as we often do. So off we set down the hill to see if we could find any.
Over our many years spent on the beach, we’ve come across lots of Mermaid’s Purses or shark’s egg cases unexpectedly but I did worry that because we wanted to find one, Murphy’s Law would make sure that we wouldn’t! But a walk to the beach is always fun. The girls had fun writing in the sand and drawing pictures.
From the beach, there’s a lovely view of Hubberston Fort (also known as Fort Hubberstone), which has finally been purchased and will hopefully be reopened in the future.
There’s something very soothing about a stream running over pebbles, isn’t there? I’m looking forward to longer warmer days spent barefoot on the beach.
It’s less calm when the kids jump in! All good fun though!
Who’s taking a photo of who?
These two love piggybacks but an uneven rocky beach isn’t the safest of places to carry someone. I explained to Izzy, it’s harder to beach comb and look for egg cases when you’re further up from the ground. Thankfully she came down then and continued our search.
We’ve found them in all different places over the years but it’s best to look at the high tide line. It can be quite hard to find them as they camouflage well with the seaweed.
The girls were looking for shells too. We always set challenges- who can find the smallest, biggest, prettiest or certain colour shell etc. We had to put some carefully back as they were still alive- always check before popping a shell into your bucket.
I always wonder when we return creatures to their “home” if we put them in the right spot with their family or if it’s a creature version of the comedy sketch where the poor old lady gets crossed back over the road that she has only just struggled to cross! Hopefully, they all end up where they want to be.
Look what we found! A Mermaid’s Purse. I’m so pleased we actually found one. This one looks like the egg case of a catshark . You can find skate egg cases too.
Some people find them with baby skate or sharks still inside them- imagine! Definitely leave them on the beach if you find a living one.
The girls enjoyed a paddle.
While they paddled, I sat down for a moment to watch them. Strictly speaking a walk from home should entail a walk there and a walk back but to allow kids to play like this means they exercise more and it does them the world of good. I choose happy kids who want to go out and explore over kids who will moan just going on a straightforward “boring” walk.
A few people passed me, social distanced and we had polite exchanges. Then, someone, I knew passed and again we had a social distanced chat, checking the family were okay and so on. Then a lady who I didn’t know came up to me and I can’t remember exactly what she said, but it was something like “Are you okay to have a chat?” I apologise if I came to the wrong conclusion but I suddenly froze as the way she said it sounded like she wanted something from me, such as to get me to join her religion (I get a lot of this if you’re wondering why this is one of my first thoughts! I must look like I need “saving”!). She took my hesitation to be about covid and in part it was but I did feel safe in that regard as we were a good distance from each other and both wearing masks. Noticing me hesitate, she asked if I was shielding and I explained that I am shielding to keep my son safe and then didn’t say any more as I felt guarded. In the past members of a certain religious organisation have feigned wanting to talk about my son and his condition with the motive to invite me to their church (I’m not against different religions and churches, I respect other’s beliefs but I don’t like feeling it’s being forced onto me). I managed to end the conversation in a friendly manner and she walked away, but I felt uneasy in case she just genuinely needed a chat and I’d brushed it off. I really hope it wasn’t that but don’t think it was.
It was time for us to head home. We had planned to take the egg case home for a few days to look at, learn about and to show Izzy’s teachers but it blew away on the beach, into the stream and back to the sea! Izzy was upset at first but I explained it was for the best really as the best place for it to be. Take nothing but rubbish and leave only footsteps on the beach. The beach doesn’t belong to us, but more and more people think it does and strip its natural assets. I’m so glad she saw it and took a photo of it though!
Read: more days-out posts here
Buy: The Water Horse book here
Buy: The Water Horse DVD here
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