Went to the beach this morning. Blue sky, warm sun and pleasant breeze so not too hot. Tide was out so plenty of beach. Sea almost flat calm, meaning I got to swim around in a warm (well OK quite cold but quite nice once you got into it) sea for literally the first time in my life - my experience hitherto has been mostly cold and turbulent (no existential platitude intended).
You may be thinking that this is turning into a typical holiday blog, and should be accompanied by a 'legsie' photo (I didn't take one but if you google it you'll get the idea - they're all the bloody same anyway). As I was swimming around it did occur to me that the day was progressing altogether far too smoothly for blogging purposes and I actually wondered if it would add spice to events if I was stung by one of the jellyfish that were allegedly lurking in the shallows. Alas this didn't happen so on we go with the saccharine stuff.
Due to the almost total lack of wave action Joseph didn't bother trying to body-board, but belied his surly teen status by readily agreeing to build a sod-off sand castle with Michael and Gerry. I allowed them a little space for a time (you know, in order to let their self-esteem build) before stepping in and taking control. The addition of my superior dredging and bucket-filling prowess moved things on apace, and after an hour was born the finest sand-based architecture to grace the shores of Britain since records began. It was based on the classic medieval 'motte and bailey' design, described by Wikipedia as having a 'keep situated on a raised earthwork called a motte, accompanied by an enclosed courtyard, or bailey, surrounded by a protective ditch and palisade. Relatively easy to build with unskilled, often forced labour.' Quite.
We actually did have several passers-by comment on the awesomeness of the sandcastle, and even a couple who took a photos using their iPad, presumably for article in Sandcastle Monthly or something. I know this is a really sad symptom of dadness, but I found my chest swelling with pride and felt the need to stand and look at it with inner satisfaction from various angles, the way a petrolhead does to their shiny new car.
The tide came in and eventually destroyed the castle, whilst the boys at first did a King Canute, vainly trying to shore up the palisade (as it is called don't you know) then gleefully jumping on the ruins shouting animalistic boy stuff. Thus symbolically ended the day in which I had skilfully duped my family into doing yet another castle, and it was with some sadness that we left the beach for the last time; this morning we decided to go home a day early due to having done everything we wanted to do, been away from home for two weeks and missing the cats. Joseph is also very keen to get home so he can lie in his bedroom and do nothing, properly.
Hitting the road first thing in the morning and will see if we can survive in the car long enough to get home in one go, with the fallback of copping out into nearest Premier Inn if necessary. Hopefully this will be the last instalment but I may be making use of 30 free minutes of wife in a purple pubhotel this time tomorrow night...