Picture the scene: beautiful blue skies, temperatures warmer than in some parts of Spain, happy sunkissed faces, and an almost empty beach in front of a row of cute little beach huts. This was the idea behind our trip to Thorpe Bay to spend a day with a group of mummies and children at our friend’s beach hut. It was not a complete fantasy, the blue skies and soaring temperatures were reality for a few glorious days mid-April. It just so happened that the weather Gods turned against us a few days before the trip was due to take place.
When we arrived at the destination, duly delayed by traffic of course, we piled on a few more layers to the already Michelin Man-style we left home in. It looked like a beautiful day, but it sure felt a little chilly. My friend’s beach hut did not disappoint. Fitted out with a fully functioning kitchen, table and chairs, and everything you could imagine needing for a day on the beach from buckets and spades down to spare beach towels and a massive ice box to keep drinks and food cool on a hot summer’s day. Well, we weren’t going to need that! But the kids made good use of the buckets and spades. Most of them brought along scooters too, and the promenade made a great race track for them.
Even though it was half term and Easter was just days away the beach was surprisingly quiet. That was great for us, as the children had the run of the beach for the whole day. A lot of the group had met before, but some of the children had never met the others, or were tiny babies when we had last been together. The older children were so kind and sweet to the little ones, my two being the smallest of all. I will be forever grateful to parents who bring their children up to look out for others and take care of those younger, smaller or just a little more shy than themselves. The world needs more people like that.
So after cooking more rashers of bacon than I’ve seen since my days on a burger van (another story for another time, maybe), my friend, the rest of the mums, the one token dad and I all managed a quick lukewarm cuppa and little snippets of chat before we sent the children and token dad off to the nearby field armed with a ball and various levels of football knowledge as a smokescreen while we sneakily hid chocolate eggs all over the beach in front of the huts. I suppose the weather was in our favour at that point. If it was much warmer there would have been a lot of melted chocolate on the sand! Safe the say that the children loved their Easter Egg Hunt, and they all went home with buckets of sweet treats, full tummies and smiling faces. As did the parents.
I think the token dad needs a little shout out before I end. Not many men would accompany their wife and children along to an all-mum event, especially having only met 2 of the 12 other mums before! On top of that he really threw himself into making up games and getting lots of the children involved in making sandcastles on the beach, and still managed to sneak off to get his wife a decent hot cup of coffee from the cafe. And I’m the one lucky enough to be called his wife!