We managed to get away from home for a night last weekend, and it was amazing. As D is a teacher he normally spends the whole of Saturday working, and as I work for a church I normally spend the whole of Sunday working; it is rare that we get a proper weekend together, and it is practically unheard of to actually get away! A whole weekend was pushing it, but we did manage a Friday/Saturday stopover to visit my sister-in-law (L) who recently moved to Eastbourne.
We set off for the deep south as soon as D finished work on Friday. We headed straight to L’s for pizza and made our way to the hotel a few hours later where, naturally, we played a few games of musical beds before settling on our sleeping positions for the night. Then, as soon as breakfast was over in the morning, we headed straight for the beach.
I adore going to the beach in the winter; I think I even prefer it to the beach in summer (I realise it is not officially winter yet, but it is starting to feel like it, so I am pretending that it is). The weather was just beautiful; although rain was expected later on in the day, the morning was absolutely stunning and we got a good amount of time on the beach. And a couple of hours on the beach was enough to highlight the stark differences between A and E!
A noticed a few shells hidden amongst the beach pebbles straight away and so began exploring. She quickly found a large variety, in differing shapes, sizes, patterns, textures and colours. She described each one and selected her favourites to take home. With the remainder she decided to create a piece of artwork in the sand. She set to work, gathering pebbles, sand, sticks, and more shells. She focused on her task, piling up sand, and carefully placing all of her additional finds. She didn’t seem to think about anything else at all. She spent most of the morning completely absorbed in her work, always scouring the beach for more treasures.
E, on the other hand, found lots to climb on. He realised that he could slip, slide and run down the bank of pebbles on the seafront. So he did, repeatedly, throwing himself in all directions, with the same excitement each time; he is such a boy sometimes!
After a while on the beach we went for a wander along the pier before lunch. It was very calm and peaceful, with very few people around at all; this meant that A and E were able to run around and explore more than they may have been in the height of summer.
We stayed in Eastbourne until just after lunchtime. As there was still no sign of the predicted storm, other than a few distant moody-looking clouds, we decided to head out to Bodiam Castle for a quick visit to break up the journey home. Naturally, it started raining as soon as we arrived.
Bodiam Castle has definitely become one of my favourite National Trust places to visit (and we will even be back in a few short weeks to visit Father Christmas there), but I am yet to visit on a dry day! We didn’t let the weather put us off though; obviously we stayed in the tearoom until the initial rain had passed, but after that we went to explore, and we even got to see the armoury for the first time.
The fairytale castle really did look even more stunning with the backdrop of autumn colour. I was sad not to have our proper camera with us though (so please excuse the rubbishness of my photos; we forgot the camera so they were all taken on my phone on this occasion)!
It was so nice to get away for the night (and day), and I am now wondering how soon we can fit it in again!