After hinting yesterday that I might have trouble keeping up with the Baldwins, today was surprisingly restful. We spent something like seven hours at beautiful Frensham Pond, the nearest thing you can get to the seaside,
despite being miles from the sea.
The last time we went to Frensham Pond was four years ago, on Hazel Bagel's tenth birthday. When I have finished writing today's blog, the Youngest of the Darling
Daughters and I plan to look out the photos from that day and check out how much we have all changed. I am hoping I will be one of the least changed. This is one of the things about how old you are - if you are young (say, 14) you will want to see a remarkable
change from the way you looked four years before. If you are my age, then you want people to exclaim: "You haven't changed a bit!"
We set up our base on a vacant stretch of sand, folding
chairs, ground sheets, towels, picnic baskets. Surrounding us were dozens of Happy Families. The Teenagers - Jack, Hazel and two friends - quickly decided that they would prefer their own space and set off for another part of the beach, armed
with sausage rolls, egg sandwiches and a towel each. They were completely out of sight (was this intentional? Surely not!) We hardly saw them for quite some considerable time until we decided to take a slow amble over to find out where they were.
Here's the thing - they had found a quiet, relatively secluded spot wherein to set up their own base while we grown-ups were back on the popular beach, surrounded by hordes of tinies. Not that I mind being surrounded
by tinies, personally. I love watching the way they continue to believe that if they dig a hole in the sand, fetch a bucket of water from the pond and attempt to fill the hole with water, that one time, sometime soon, the water will not seep away into
Over and over again they carry their buckets, large and small, from the edge of the pond to the waiting hole in the sand. I'd like to say that it is the triumph of hope over experience
but sadly it never is.
We were joined at one point by a quite exquisite dragon-fly which Hazel Bagel plucked from the chair where it had landed. Fortunately it didn't require feeding - not even with
the quite delicious chocolate cornflake cakes and mini muffins which Hazel had cooked the night before. As picnics go, it was a veritable feast.
Swimming, sun-bathing, chatting, paddling. Lots
of laughter, lots of rolling around in the sand. Well, no, not me but Hazel and Friends did enough rolling about for all of us. Which may not have been all that sensible...
is one thing you need to know about the sand at Frensham Pond. It stains you a not-so-delicate shade of orange. We all went home with a perma-tan, looking a lot like that chap from the antiques show on TV, you know the one I mean, with the orange
face? It took lots of scrubbing in the shower to restore us to our natural beauty.