I cycled to Uppermill in the sunshine this morning. I even wore shorts! “Summer” appears to be continuing for the time being, even though snow is apparently forecast for Easter Monday. But in the meantime people will be doing stuff like heading for the nearest beach now that Matt Hancock and others are telling us that it’s “absolutely fine” to do so. It’s “absolutely fine” and I understand that we can now travel see friends and family but we ideally are encouraged to “stay local”.
That didn’t stop lots of people, who don’t all live in Formby, from travelling to Formby Point yesterday. And when they got there, even if they found somewhere to park, they discovered that there was actually no beach. ““We’re expecting a very high spring tide, the sea will reach right up to the dunes and there will be no beach.”
Formby point is very close to Ainsdale and Southport, and Birkdale in between the two, all places which have long been the butt of jokes about how you can’t find the sea. Mostly it’s true and it’s one of the things that make the beaches so attractive for flying kites, running around, walking your dogs, building sandcastles. However, having grown up there, I have known for ages that from time to time the sea comes right up the sand dunes. It always really impressed me, back in the days when walking alone on the beach was a de-stressing activity for me.
It must have come as a surprise for the people who have only fairly recently discovered the delights of Formby Point with the red squirrel reserve in the pine woods and the stretch of beach just over the sandhills. It’s one of those places that I may have to resign myself to not visiting for a good while yet. When our children were small, going to the pine woods to see if we could feed the squirrels was a regular family excursion on Boxing Day. In more recent years it’s a place I have visited with my daughter and her children, again to look for squirrels and then to climb over the dunes onto the beach. It was never crowded. Now it’s a different story and I’m feeling quite snobby about not wanting to share “our” place with the crowds.
I get the same feeling about our local beauty spot, Dovestone Reservoir, which has long been one of my favourite escape spots if I wanted to go for a long, reasonably solitary walk to think about stuff. There was a time when my son was in his mid- to late-teens when he and I used to get up and drive there before breakfast. Walking round the reservoir as the sun came up was the perfect setting for putting the world to rights. I’ve not been there for ages, not even to cycle round the reservoir, something that I am told would be quite difficult as there are now so many visitors.
Oh dear! I must be turning into a horrid exclusivist snob! I’ll just have to stay very local for a while longer and stick to walks close to home but less frequented.
So we’ve not as yet taken advantage of our newly granted freedom to travel a little farther afield. Yesterday, however, our daughter brought the smallest of her offspring to play in our garden in the late afternoon, now that such activities are permitted again. Assuming the sun keeps shining from time to time, we should see more of that kind of thing. And so on the list of things to do today is the paint the garden bench with Ronseal or something similar to protect it from those days when the sun doesn’t shine but the rain comes down.
Here’s a final bit of nonsense for today, courtesy of a friend of mine who reads a lot and, like me, finds words fascinating:-
Names for people who read a lot:
English - Bookworm.
Indonesian - Book flea.
Romanian - Library mouse.
German - Read-rat.
French - Ink drinker.
Danish - Reading horse.
Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!