Thursday, 2 February 2012

Off for some winter sun.

At this time of year I start to get a bit desperate for some sun and a boost of vitamin D. For many years when I still had muscles I would be invited to spend several weeks out in the South of France to help with family building projects. Sadly they seem to be finished for now so my time out enjoying their winter sunshine and eating lunch outside on the terrace looking out to a landscape full of almond blossom seems to be over for now.
Last year a friend persuaded thirty or so of her friends to help celebrate a significant birthday by all staying at a spa hotel in the countryside. We joined her there, others had flown in from several european countries and a great time was had over several days. Because we were mostly busy with the many events organised for the group we did not get a chance to empty the bank account by trying out any of the offered therapies or treatments.
This year we have split up and gone our own ways again with Julie going of to stay with her cousin in Edinburgh for a few days and visit other friends and do lots of cultural things. I have come to a seaside spa town in England where I met up with my friend Lucy who escorted me through the winding old streets in search of food and then somewhere quiet to catch up on chat. It was bitterly cold out and we would have chosen somewhere to eat a lot quicker if I had not shown a desire for something Chinese which just could not be found! Eventually we settled on a Spanish tapas place which seemed to have a good happy crowd, soon after we got our table the place was full. We ate our way through a table full of small dishes which we washed down with a glass of Rioja before moving on to a quiet pub with comfy seats for a chat over a couple of cups of coffee.
I love being by the sea, just makes me feel alive. After a lazy breakfast I checked out of my hotel in the center of town and wandered out for a bracing couple of hours wandering about. I came here on a family holiday in the sixties, we stayed in a friend's flat on the sea front overlooking the east pier very near where I was staying, back then we just drove p and had no trouble just t parking right in front where nobody is even allowed to stop now. I was nine or ten and my memories are hazy but I do remember looking down on our beautiful Lagonda which looked even better from above.

One crazy guy likes the shore even more than me and went in for a swim from the shingle beach! The rest of us, and there were many out walking, were wrapped up warm. It was heartening to see a lot of activity already renovating the the seafront businesses ready for the new season, normally I like things with a bit of age and weathering but at the seaside it really needs to be bright sparkling fresh paint. After the seafront with hardly any wind it was a surprise to enter the narrow lanes back from the beach and find myself in a series of wind tunnels! Had I not been trailing my small case on wheels  I may have explored the small shops there more thoroughly, never seen so many jewelers in one place. Lucky for me I am not driven to acquire expensive jewels and like cheap glass rings. In the last year or so my fingers have slimmed down a lot so that the few rings I do have often try to escape which is what happened to the one which I was wearing yesterday and I thought it was lost for ever… I have just unpacked at the spa and spread everything in drawers and have found it at the bottom of my handbag so now I know that they come off while I am searching amongst all the stuff in there!
Now that I am settled in I had better settle on what treatment to get I guess.

Afternoon tea has just arrived, I could get used to this...

O, I do like to be beside the seaside.


  1. A spa; deciding on the treatment; hmm, I think not!! Enjoy!

  2. Just had to read it after our chat !! Glad i did.
    Good luck. you will be fine.
    Doesent seem long ago when we were all wondering if we would get to this point.
    Speak soon. xxxx

  3. Afternoon tea sounds very civilised. I'm thinking of you.

  4. We ate our tapas at the Casa Don Carlos in The Lanes. They were very good, weren't they?

    Good luck with the op today. See you at the Nuff on Sunday or (more likely) Monday.


  5. If you like being by the sea and ever come to Southport, bring your binoculars! When the tide is in it sometimes floods the shoreside road but when it is out it goes a l o n g way! I wish you the best for that op. whatever it is for.

    Shirley Anne xxx

  6. Oddly enough, that's where I was living in the sixties... and about the same age too. Wouldn't it be odd if we'd stumbled across each other back then. Hope your trip rejuvenated you. :)

  7. Dear Caroline,

    I just wanted to say how much I am enjoying your writing. In this post I had the feeling of being by the sea, perhaps in a small seaside town in my home state of Maine. With my Scotch and Irish roots and with your descriptions, someday I will have to visit Scotland.

    Regards from Bucharest,

  8. Ah...dining over the assortment of tapas, by the sea, and with Lucy. How I wish I was there to join you two!

    Calie xxx


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