Christmas by the sea, by Gizmo

At first Skye and I couldn’t see the point of the long rather puzzling drive on Christmas Eve; the good thing was that we didn’t get lost and Skye was not sick – thanks to my excellent story-telling to distract her, and the only thing that went wrong was I accidentally stepped on the chocolate log  …….we found our friends among the hundreds and hundreds of other static vans on this huge park, all of which were empty, and it turned out we were the only people there!  Wonderful!

Christmas Day turned out to be heaven….we wandered on a lovely long steep upwards walk through a forest and onto some very high cliffs above the beach: I was forever being shouted at to come away from the edge.  As if I’d look for the easy way down……..  There was an unusually exciting smell up there which made my tail stand on end.  Luckily I whizzed past Dad just as he was commenting to Mum on the number of rabbits there appeared to be about……so I could gallop past Skye and say “I think you’ll find that smell is rabbits, Skye” in a very knowledgable voice, to which she replied “Oh, is it”  trying to convince me she wasn’t impressed that I knew.  She was impressed though, I could tell.

We got a little lost but I gamely led the party down from the top, with Skye keeping the tailenders up together, and finally we found a path back, and collected all we needed for Christmas lunch.  We found a sheltered place right on the beach with a perfectly placed big rock for a table and we set up the barbecue, and then wandered off down the beach while it got hot enough to cook on.

It had never occurred to me before what a Health and Safety nightmare the seaside is though……..

To wit:   big rocks against the sea walls to fall on…..

smaller rocks and pebbles to slide on making twisted ankles….

 swooshy waves, rock pools, slippery seaweed…..

 hot barbecue, sharp knives, high cliffs with falling off edges….. to say nothing of slippery decking and the thought of not finding our particular caravan with my bed in it once we had gone out.  It was all too much.  After a long moment of contemplation, I gave up, took my H&S head off, stashed it beside my bed with my trusty clipboard and pencil, and dug out my holiday head which suited me very well.

Christmas by the sea.

It was amazing.  I had told Skye that it is a very sociable place with more dogs than you can imagine because of course I have been twice before, but there was only the seven of us on this beach – five people and the two of us!  We were so lucky.

The sea talks all the time, making a wonderful sleepy snoring dragony sort of noise.  It rattles stones as it pulls and pushes, almost as if it is sorting them into some amazing pattern, then pulling back back to admire, in a wonderful almost soporific rhythm. Where all that water went when it left us I cannot imagine.  Wherever it is it must stop for a while – maybe it is resting, – but it can’t be too far away, as it comes back again later, and then it is bigger and higher and even more wavey, and it swallows the whole beach from end to end!  We took Skye down to the sea edge to see what she thought of it.  She was puzzled at first, trying to work it out;  then she barked at the waves but the waves took no notice, so she tried biting them but they still took no notice.  Then she thought a bit and bounced on one, and suddenly the sea invited her into itself and she was swimming!  Just as if she had always done it, which I know she hasn’t.  I trotted alongside her on the stones, risking a torn Achilles I am sure, muttering  encouraging advice to her while trying to stay on my feet. I no more than paddle myself.  I don’t like the water up my nose.  We both had so much fun though, and what with the sea, rabbits on the cliffs and barbecued lamb chop bones for lunch on the beach, Christmas could not have been more perfect.   

By the time we got back to the van we were all full, boozy (some of us) and rather wet (others of us), and it was warm and steamy in the caravan in no time, and we watched Paddington Bear 2 which I thoroughly enjoyed, though everyone seemed to cry at the end – that was silly, I thought, as it is a happy ending………

Skye and I chattered into the night, and when she fell asleep I went round the bedrooms to check that everyone else was asleep too…….and they all were until I arrived ……………….my work done, I finally slept too. However, there was lots of groaning in the morning about hard beds, so I am going to suggest they do what I do and take their own bed with them.  It is the perfect solution.  It is the only way to travel…..

P.S.  The pictures are;  Christmas lunch, top of the cliffs, hoping for Jane’s bone, Skye swimming, us on the beach and sunset from our caravan………happy remembers!


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