Hopeman on a Hot Weekend

Sunday March 25

Argh, unlike the rest of the country wittering on about the lovely unseasonally hot weather last weekend, I was too busy enjoying it to write! So, where did Family Trout go?

Mini, you're NOT going to swim out to the seal - it'll eat you!

Well, local of course: we decided to drive down to Hopeman beach. The minxes clambered out the car and went tearing over to the beach huts, past the fossilised dinosaur footprints. They’d all been painted, and most were sporting dolphins. Because we’ve spent most of 2012 ill (chicken pox then that horrible virus that lingered for a month), we’ve not really been out much. So I insisted that we walk up the trail in the direction of Lossiemouth so I could walk past all the gorse. I’ve told you about my gorse addiction before, lots of times. It was still morning, so I had to shove my nose into the spikes to fill my lungs with its coconutty suntan smell – the air didn’t get heavy with its scent until afternoon.

The kids soon got bored with walking when there was an entire empty beach to play on, so we tumbled down the dunes onto the sand. Maxi got straight to work, building a collage of a mermaid (shells for necklace and earrings, fancy fish-tail, seaweed hair), while Midi hoarded seaweed for herself, muttering about making a stew that would turn Maxi and Mini into toads. Mini filled my pockets with her Treasure (so that was a dead bee, some seaweed, broken seashells and most of the beach’s stones). The Boss headed off to clamber over some sandy rocks in his wellies, while his mum spotted a seal. I contented myself with turning over rocks to find starfish and winkles. It made me unbearably hungry, so we headed back for lunch. In the garden. With bubbles for afters.

Everyone loves bubbles, right? Every kid that ever was loves to chase after and pop bubbles. Every adult loves to blow them. What’s not to love about bubbles? I even raised a smile out of stropping, over-tired Midi just blowing a few big ones her way. I guess that’s my other top tip about being a parent: always keep a bottle of bubble mix nearby. It makes for a brilliant reward, a cheer-er-upper, a distracter, a brilliant burn-the-energy-out-of-the-little-blighters, and just a fun past time. I bought Tesco out of its (2) biggest bottles of bubble mix to keep us going for another week…

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