Saturday, January 02, 2010

A day out at the seaside...

Ok, so it wasn't exactly a day, more like a couple of hours.  And we didn't exactly plan it as a visit the seaside (living so close to the coast means it seems to lose it's appeal - I guess the novelty wears off).  But, it was a lovely couple of hours regardless.  The weather was beautiful - cold yes, but once we had all wrapped up with hats, scarves and gloves, even the cold chill couldn't penetrate and sour our good moods.   With blue skies and sunshine, we could almost fool ourselves into thinking it was summer...

The Ness Basking in the Winter Sun

The main reason we had travelled to my old haunt of Teignmouth was for me to get some photography practice. I have been pretty slack at taking pictures in recent weeks - there are only so many flowers to photograph in our wintery garden, only so many occasions that the children will pose without whinging, only so many times when I can gain enthusiasm for taking pictures of the dog sitting in front of the fire. The weather here hasn't exactly been camera friendly (read as very wet), so my much preferred out and about shooting opportunities have been limited.

So we headed to over to Teignmouth for a wintry stroll. I actually moved there from Birmingham to live when I was 12 years old.  I went to the local Community College, and ambled around the streets of the town in (most of the time) utter boredom. Yes, it was that kind of place. The old "nothing to do for the youngsters" tale certainly described the town. There always seemed to be plenty of plans afoot - a skatepark, a BMX centre, an Ice Skating Rink, but nothing materialised. It really should come as no surprise that so many young people move away as soon as possible and find out about life in the great big wide world. I really couldn't see the appeal of the place when I resided there with my parents. I did however like the feeling of being in relative safety. Crime rates were comparably low and walking the streets after dark never felt uncomfortable. 

Now the grown up me likes Teignmouth - I would even be happy to move there again (never thought I would say that!)  It is your typical seaside town, with a beautifully laid out seafront, a pier full of old character, nice beaches, and a quaint sort of feel to it.  It really is no wonder that thousands of visitors are lulled to the area each summer (I could never figure out that one as a child, but I can see the attraction now).

Today we had a lovely amble around. Starting at the quaint back beach, with it's fishing history oozing from every pore amongst the views of the estuary, beach huts, and rowing boats. We walked along the sand as we chatted and admired the surroundings, resisting temptation to just pop into one of the many pubs along the way. Stepping through one of the narrow back streets we found our way into the town.  So much has changed since our last visit.  Even though it's only 20 minutes drive away, we don't frequent the town very often. In fact, it's probably been about a year ago since I last walked through it. The old London Hotel - once a renowned local landmark - is now an indoor market place. Of course the Woolworths has closed, and it has been replaced by a carpet store. Lots of charity shops have bestowed themselves throughout the town, and I was a little saddened to see that some of the independent shops (such as opticians and bakeries) have been taken over by the national chains.  It was nice to see however that there were very few empty premises awaiting to be occupied - something that many town centres seem to be suffering from - This gives the feel of Teignmouth being a bustling, thriving little town.

We walked through the town and back onto the seafront.  Teignmouth is laid out in such a way that you can walk around in a complete circle; beach - town - beach.  This means that when you have bored children wanting to get back to the beach, you can keep on walking forward and still end up at the seafront :o)  As it was such a pleasant day, there were lots of people out enjoying the weather.  There was a lovely atmosphere.  Children were out practising on their new bikes or roller skates, elderly couples were walking hand in hand, either smiling at the playing children or tutting at them for being in their way, dogs raced along the beaches chasing seagulls and harrassing their owners for tennis balls to be thrown.  Then there was us.  Me and my family, the six of us enjoying family time.  We chatted, we laughed, we played.  We walked on the beach and threw stones in the sea.   We collected shells. We watched as the gulls bought their food almost to our feet - throwing it on the floor in the hope of cracking the shells.

Taking a break

We tried to see fish in the sea, and we admired our surroundings.  It really was a beautiful, beautiful day.

Father & Son

The world is full of patterns and textures, take time to stop, look, and enjoy.

I would walk for miles to be by your side...

Teignmouth Pier

Isn't it nice to just stop sometimes?  To get off that merry-go-round that we call life and enjoy time with those that we love.  Our day cost us nothing but the petrol money, but it was a lovely day that I will remember for a long time to come, just because of the smiles it gave my family :o)

On the way home...

3 comments:

  1. Wow, what a beautiful story and beautiful pictures! You made me happy and smile :)

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  2. Happy New Year Julia! Your pictures are beautiful. Thanks for sharing your home ed journey - though I've followed your blogs since quite near the beginning it was nice to read it altogether. May 2010 be a year of blessings for your family. - Deedee

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  3. What a lovely day :)

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