And now, this week, a holiday. Yes, a holiday... from endless chicken-y ramblings. A holiday in the proper sense of the word – one where you get to pack a bag and go away somewhere, not a man’s idea of a holiday where they offer to do a BBQ to ‘give you a break from cooking’.
Men of the beautiful Scottish Borders, let me tell you, a ‘break from cooking’ isn’t a break. A break is where you get to physically go away, in an open-top sports car to a country house hotel with Hugh Grant, for at least 48 hours. Oops. Sorry. That’s Bridget Jones, not my real life.
Anyhoo, I have just returned from a proper holiday, which involved travel, and packed bags and sunshine and everything. OK, OK, it was in a tent, and it was in Argyll, but it had sun and a beach and a takeaway cafe (so minimal cooking). A break in the true sense of the word. Bliss.
The campsite was chosen for its proximity to the beach. Oh, to lie in luxury on your inflatable mattress at night and hear the sound of the sea as the waves gently washed on to the beach. Well, if you could hear it above the wails of sunburnt weans who’d been overlooked by parents snoozing on their sunloungers all day, forgetting to re-apply the sun block.
The gorgeous, loooooong, sandy beach, solely used by the campsite’s clientele, was so close you could almost unzip the tent flap and touch the waves. Just a couple of steps through the dunes and there it was – golden sands and caribbean island-style blue waters. You just can’t beat the west coast on a sunny day. And we had a whole, glorious eight days of sun. Knowing how ram-jam packed the beach at Coldingham gets as soon as the temperature rises above freezing, we packed everything we had for total, 100 per cent kiddie fun in anticipation of days on a happy, busy beach.
Flippers, snorkel and mask, bodyboards, shorty wetsuits, fishing nets, cricket set, rugby ball, football ... you name it, we took it.
Imagine that first day. We arrive at the campsite, we set up ASAP (no mean feat with a seven-metre tent), and we’re off for the beach. The YMs can hardly walk for all the flippers, fishing nets, bodyboards etc they are carrying. Eagerly they slip through the dunes and onto ... an empty beach. Yes, a totally empty beach. Apart from them, that is. This just does not compute. Where is everyone? There are tents, caravans, motorhomes and static caravans, all filled with with grown-ups and kids. So where were they?
Answer: on the play park, in football strips, playing kick-about. Every day, all day. Football. Sunburnt weans.
So just why did all these folk, mostly from that quaint, west coast fishing village of Glasweegie, choose to holiday at this beach-tastic campsite? Turns out they DO love the beach – but only at night. As soon as it started to go dusk and the sun began to set over the distant hills of Jura, they scuttled about gathering driftwood and lighting fires on the beach to sit around ’til the wee small hours, drinking cans of lager.
Let’s hear it for romantic mini-breaks.