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The Great Outdoors

Misty Eyed Moments

August 17, 2018

Summer holidays, or holidays at any time of year for that matter, will always revolve around connections with our family who live far and wide.  In our case that family resides from one end of Britain to the other.  On a day to day, week to week and month to month level, our small family unit (that is me, my husband Colin, our two boys, a dog and cat!), will not see cousins, sisters, brothers, parents or grandparents.  We all live just too far apart for that you see.

So that is why it is important for us to make these special journeys.  Indeed they are extra special.  I actually think our little boys are very lucky indeed.  With their grandmother in Edinburgh and their other grandparents in Cardiff, how fortunate to be able to experience the rich cultures of two beautiful regions.

This time round has been particularly poignant for Colin and I.  I have such fond memories of my own childhood holidays (always sunny of course!)  I remember vividly trips to the beach at Wiseman’s Bridge, Pembrokeshire.  Here I would spend entire days fixated by rockpools, coaxing illusive Blennies from their dark homes deep within the crevices of barnacled rocks.

Wiseman Bridge rockpooling
Me looking for Blennies circa 1980

Then there was swimming in freshwater pools under waterfalls at Blaen-y-Glyn in the mountains near Talybont reservoir,  tucked away in the Brecon Beacons most hidden places.

1970’s wild swimming!

Of course there are also those memories of a more palatable nature….

….like fried tomatoes on toast!

My Dad’s supper speciality…yummy

However, this time our Welsh trip down memory lane, took us to another special place.  A visit to Kenfig Nature Reserve, near Bridgend.  It was a regular day out for us as kids, and now here I was 30 or so years later.  Pulling up into the car park, its quiet beauty brought memories trickling back (I say trickling as it really has been a long time!)  Starting our walk we passed bird hides which nestle alongside the freshwater of Kenfig pool.  You are truly spoilt for choice by the abundance of flora and fauna of the place.  The real adventure though was and always has been the 1 mile walk (you heard me!) across sand dunes, eventually leading to the real jewel that is Sker Beach.

And it was just as I remembered…..

The walk is worth it

….isolated perfection!

Just us and a fisherman!

…..and they all loved it!

Having a splash
Warm Welsh Water!

Then it was time to head North, to Scotland’s fair capital for quality Gran time.  Colin’s turn now, where he was able to share equally fond memories of his childhood trips to North Berwick and the cluster of incredible beaches which dot this coastline.  For him, Yellowcraig Beach was calling…..

My word!  Oh how it took my breath away!

Almost tropical

Here too, mere handfuls of people,  allowing you space and time…..

to reflect…..

Taking it all in


Beach capers

and even capture a rare picture of this pair!

Mr and Mrs

Throughout it all, this lad was smiling again.

Am loving this!

And so our eyes go misty as we remember favourite places, people, experiences of our past.  Long live the simple pleasures I say!  I do believe they create the best memories.  What is more, those simple pleasures are often there on our own doorsteps, right under our own noses.  What are yours?  I bet there’s some crackers and I’d love to hear.

Deary me, feeling terribly, terribly woolly again!

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