Grim Sandcastle Determination

I don’t care how cold it is, you *will* build sandcastles, minxes!

So, today is Sunday 1 April and it’s Day 2 of the school Easter holidays. Yesterday me and Mini went shopping for Maxi Minx’s birthday, while the elder 2 girls went slacklining with their Daddy, then burnt off the last of their energy at the swings. We’re planning on going camping from Tuesday, but the forecast is getting worse and worse – right now the heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures have turned into a severe weather warning. So I suspect camping just might be cancelled… Today we’d planned on going to the beach, but it’s cold, windy and rainy. Sod it – we’ve got waterproofs, fleece and down. And we’re all grumpy trouts who hate being dictated to by anything or anybody, even the weather. So off we went.

starfish winkles anemone seaweed

Can you spot the starfish? Winkles? Barnacles? Red sea anemone? Strange tiny yellow shellfish (?) Anything else?

I could happily spend all day turning over rocks to see what’s underneath, me. “Oh look, a winkle! Oh look, seaweed!” The Boss found a starfish on this beach a few weeks ago. Determined not to be beaten, I had to find one, too. In fact, I found 2. As well as some strange yellowy things. They reminded my friend of clusters of butterfly eggs. I’ve no idea what they are, but as there are huge mussel beds a few miles to the east, I assumed they were shellfish. Baby winkles, maybe? I didn’t poke at them to find out, because (a) I didn’t want to disturb them any further, and (b) my fingers were too cold to discern texture. Anyone have any idea?

Antique Ginger Beer Bottle Hay Sons

I wonder how many people actually went to prison for refilling these bottles, then? And how long this was lying in the sea?

Well, we built our sandcastles in the snow er, I mean, cold, wet sand. To be fair, apart from cold fingers, it was lots of fun. Midi taught Mini to stop adding sand once the bucket was full (sheesh – and there was me thinking Mini was a clever girl…) And the beauty of cold, yucky weather is that most people stay at home, so you have tons of space – in an already empty and spacious beach! – to race around and enjoy yourself.

We found spiral shells bigger than my hand, a mussel shell that was even longer, an antique Hay & Sons stone ginger beer bottle and a dead seagull. The seagull looked like it had stoofed into the sand beak-first. I wonder if it ate the monster mussel first, and that’s why…? We also played among the petrified forest of tree stumps to the west of Burghead, then called it quits and headed back for lunch before the rain really bucketed down.

They’re pretty enterprising minxes, but no way was that driftwood shifting!

In other news: Midi has taken to calling eggs ‘slimeys’. Mini can now say “I want more!” very clearly. I discovered that if you buy a £1.65 bag of shiny ‘gems’ from Tesco and give them to 2 minxes, along with sellotape, paper, cotton wool and scissors, you get peace for 2 hours, plus sparkly crowns for the whole family and all the stuffed toys. Nice! I bet Bagpuss was delighted…

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