Saturday, 1 January 2011

Sand Adventures

A trip to the beach and an unexpected lorry on our return made for a wonderful New Year's Day.

I do have lots of photos of Christmas.  But you all know what too many presents, family enjoying themselves, lots of food and a toddler getting a little bit overexcited look like - so I thought I'd jump straight to New Year.

Big C has commented a few times over the last couple of days about the quality of the light.  It's true, after the Solstice on the 21st the light does seem so much clearer, and up here in Scotland the time of sunset seems to extend so dramatically for those first couple of weeks.  Life really is filled with hope for the beginning of a new year.  It helps of course that things have warmed up enough to melt at least some of the snow (though I think further cold is expected over the next few days).  I can really see why beliefs that centre around the turning of the seasons are held, and festivals celebrated that focus on seasons and nature.

But... being almost 7 months pregnant and with a 17 month old toddler, and temperatures rarely getting above freezing, and thick snow or ice all over the place, it turns out that over the past few weeks I have been horribly cooped up indoors.  Big C realised this, and with a day off work today for the first time in a couple of weeks, decided that it was about time we went out somewhere.  This being Scotland though, and Hogmanay, it turns out that not much is open.  We spent a little time thinking about it, and checking websites, and then made the snap decision to go to the beach!  

We headed up to Lunan Bay, between Arbroath and Montrose, had a quick picnic off the back of the Landrover and then were off playing in the sand.  Little C was happy as anything, digging in the sand, picking up pebbles, and generally marvelling at the "watter" (sea).  The waggy tailed one was equally joyous to be able to run like crazy and chase her ball without fear of skidding and sliding on ice or disappearing up to her haunches in a drift.  I just meandered, enjoying the light, the fresh air, and the sea spray, and taking photos of my family enjoying the New Year.

As we headed home though, the Landrover (worth bearing in mind here that it broke down the week before Christmas and had more than a thousand pounds spent on it in the garage) decided to play up.  It broke down.  We called the AA.  They were very good - turned up very quickly, we were able to get going again and they followed us to make sure we were ok.  We weren't.  We still hadn't made it to much past Arbroath and were a long way from home, so he called a truck to relay us home.  We waited just over an hour and then had the huge adventure of going in an "orry" (lorry) with the Landrover on the back.  Little C was getting very hungry at this point (and also tired because he had only had a snoozette on the way to the beach), and was most worried about what we had done with the waggy-tailed one.  He was calling her name most of the way home!  Needless to say, we got home fine, the waggy-tailed one had remained in the Landrover throughout, so was delighted to see the rest of us.  It helped me that this time when we broke down it wasn't just Little C and me on a cold and darkening road.  Big C was there to take the stress, and I was able to take it in the spirit of embracing the adventure rather than a stressful inconvenience!  The excitement has sealed the fate of the Landrover though - we'll be getting rid of her.  Poor lady, she's served us well, but at the moment it seems a lot like pouring money down a bottomless pit having three vehicles on the road, particularly when one of them guzzles diesel and keeps breaking down.  Thanks to the AA though, the guys they send out to us are unfailingly cheerful, helpful and friendly - even on a cold New Years Day.

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