Jaqui's Daily Blog

Big Kids Beach Day

When it comes to Beach Days, you can never be too young - or too old. That's my opinion, anyway, and after all, whose Daily Blog is this?

The Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I had been planning our latest Beach Day for a couple of weeks. We knew from the start that we would not have her young'uns with us, Hazel Bagel being in Belfast where she is preparing to light up the stage at the Lyric Theatre in a brand new production of The Frenzy of Sweeny with Youth Music Theatre (UK) and Our Jack being hard at work earning more money towards the undoubted expense of University Life ahead. Still, we told each other, we would enjoy a Big Kids Beach Day, just the two of us, doing all the things we would have done, had we had youngsters along. It would also be excellent preparation, we excused ourselves (not that either of us felt excuses were necessary) for the up-and-coming Family Beach Day in just over two weeks time when Young and Old will join for a day of Seaside-Related Fun, Frolics and Frivolity.

Over the days leading up to Big Kids Beach Day, we messaged each other continuously to remind ourselves of the basic ingredients of a Day at the Seaside. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters sent me a forward weather forecast for the day in question - neither too hot, nor yet too cold. Perfect, we congratulated each other as if, somehow, we had been able to exert influence on the isobars and warm weather fronts and other meteorological mysteries.

The Big Kids Beach Day might be considered an after-thought, albeit a most fortuitous one. The main reason for my daughter's visit was because we had booked tickets to see Half a Sixpence at the Chichester Festival Theatre on the Monday. "Shall I stay for a couple of nights?" she suggested. Dear Reader, as you can imagine, I didn't have to think twice. And what better way to spend the day after our theatre trip than on the beach? That's the point at which the BKBD started to take shape.

But first, our theatre trip! One of our best so far. A totally joyous experience from start to Flash, Bang, Wallop finish. We tripped out of the theatre on dancing feet. Soon, we told each other (fearless theatre critics that we are) the show will undoubtedly transfer to the West End. The bona fide critics, it seems, agree with us.

Down on the beach the next day, the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I were also in Flash, Bang, Wallop mood, determined to record every potentially photographic moment. All our planned activities, my daughter assured me, were extremely "Instagrammable". Was this a good thing? I asked myself...

We started with Crazy Golf. Did we want to record our scores, the woman on the ticket kiosk asked. Did we ever? Totting up the Scores on the Doors is a vital part of a round of Crazy Golf. We left her, clutching a score card and a pencil which we had promised to return. No, she wasn't clutching the card and pencil, we were, don't be silly.

I rather wished we had foregone the gift of a score card when I was roundly beaten by my daughter at each and every hole. I couldn't even manage a hole in one on the Wooden Ship hole which looks as if it would be fiendishly difficult but where everyone succeeds in getting the ball in the hole with a single shot. Everyone except me, that is. We did admit to feeling a little strange sans kids - especially as every other party before and behind us numbered at least one child in their company. It was, however, a fleeting feeling as in no time at all we became Big Kids at the Seaside without a second thought.

We took the famous Littlehampton Boat Train back along the prom (prom, prom). It was slightly harder than usual to attract waves from passers-by - but then, despite being undoubtedly Two of Us, we clearly lacked the Double Adorability of the Twinkles. Something to work towards, I decided, as we posed for a photo, snapped by the kind train driver who possibly felt it would be wise to humour her strange passengers.

We picnicked on the beach and then we paddled. We told each other that the water wasn't really so very cold, not once you got used to it. We did, however, draw the line at swimming, surfing and bodyboarding - anything, in fact, that required us to get more than our feet wet. I had forgotten to bring buckets and spades with us which meant resorting to the beach shop in order to purchase a small spade (£1.50) and a packet of three Jolly Roger flags (£1) from the beach shop so that we could build a (very small) sandcastle. Out of the corner of my eye I could see people looking at us pityingly. "Big kids!" you could almost hear them thinking. "That's us!" I sent my thought waves wafting back in their direction.

We chickened out of a ride on the Waltzer in the Amusement Park on account of the fact that neither of us was prepared to deal with the possible consequences in terms of Dizzy Turns. A far safer bet was the riverside walk to the Look & Sea Centre for a coffee in the open air, watching a mother swan keeping a watchful eye on her five teenage cygnets. Big kids, all five of them.

We carried out a recce round the Oyster Pond in the interests of potential Family Beach Day activities and concluded that the twin delights of brightly coloured pedalos and fishing for crabs should satisfy all the family of all ages. I'm not sure I will be able to fold myself into a pedalo, however brightly coloured, so I will be on Crab Patrol. You know it makes sense.

Walking back towards the beach, the smell of hot donuts assailed our senses. Could we resist the temptation? On the other hand, what's a Big Kids Beach Day without a freshly cooked donut, dusted in sugar? Naughty, but nice.

The very best way to finish off a gloriously gleeful Big Kids Beach Day in the very best of company.

The Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I. Big Kids, the pair of us.

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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