Just back from our annual pilgrimage to Pembrokeshire. A place I visit to get sun-battered and rested and I wasn’t disappointed. Beach everyday. Most days our family fave’ of Broadhaven which has it all…….. waves, dunes, lagoons, rocks and even familiar faces, (we’ve been going there that long!)
Now I am a sucker for a secret hidden beach and with much beach loafing being done during the day I felt obliged to drag the folks on a cliff walk one evening. ‘Skrinkle Haven’ was our destination and after much tramping and cries of, “are we there yet?” We eventually descended a metal staircase to the beach. “But this can’t be the beach” thought I, when faced with a handkerchief patch of sand but some impressive looking cliffs. And then we spotted the ‘passage way’ through the cliffs, (ignoring the warning sign that talked of different beach levels?!!) and glimpsed a golden patch of sand beyond. I was hesitant but the kids were through. “Yeah, yeah, there’s a path at the other end of the beach,” they shouted back. So all of us intrepid explorers went through, scampering over the barnacled rocks and dodging the waves to land in paradise.
What a stunning beach. Seeringly high cliffs with hanging green foliage and not a soul to be seen. It was like our footprints were the first to mark this beach.
But they can’t have been. There, constructed at the high water mark from beach salvage was a structure with a hand drawn sign saying, ‘MikE’s BeAch Bar’. The kids were straight over ordering imaginary pina colada’s. Me, the cautious girl scout, just wanted to check out the return path before getting too comfortable as it did look slightly dilapidated.
I scurried up through the undergrowth, the squeals of delight carrying up to me as the kids discovered fairy lights at the beach bar. After climbing so high that the beach had disappeared from view I suddenly found my way barred by a palisade fence! Yikes. We were on military territory again. I could see a ‘footpath closed’ sign on the opposite side lying at a funny angle in the overgrowth. I shivered and expected to look down and see the red dot of a sniper rifle on my chest. (I can be prone to a little over dramatization!) I hurriedly retraced my steps and the words were swiftly echoed around amongst us all….
“There is no way off this beach!” (du-du-duuuuuuuuhh!)
Honestly, it was like a scene from ‘Lost’. “Kids, step away from the bar, it’s time to go home”. It seemed to be only me that was moving with any urgency, (I am such a scaredy). We retraced our steps, up over the barnacled rocks. To add to the drama the tide had definitely turned and much more skill was needed to time it through the plunge pool before bouldering round to enter the door of the passage again. Exhilarating stuff. (And funnily enough, only me that ended up soaked!)
Ham butties and battenburg on the safe handkerchief of a beach next door had never tasted so good.
We gave an arrogant nod to the warning sign on our ascent of the steel staircase. We’d survived it but I didn’t want to feel too bolshy so I figured I should take on the role of sensible parent… “Now we took a risk here tonight kids and in future you should always heed the warning signs…… I only allowed you through because I knew we were at low tide….”etc etc. “Yes, Debbie, we know” they replied. Smart kids, I’m proud of them.
It was only when we’d got back to the car that I realised one of them had gone and nicked the bleedin’ fairy lights! Honestly, you can’t take them anywhere!
But anyway, talking of fairy’s…what do you think of this little gem that I fitted for Isobel before popping off on my hols.
It is Isobels third panel, and it nestles into one of the panes of her small Georgian windows. I made two for her last year with little birds and if I could only download the image from my phone I could show you all three in-situ….
Anyway here is the ‘fairy panel’..This is me making some custom brackets to fit the panel into Isobel’s existing window. The brackets, made from a little bit of brass angle bar allow the panel to be screwed into the wooden frame, but also allow air to circulate around the panel and prevent condensation.