Family time. It’s the quiet lull between Christmas and New Year, a time for indulging in a little rest and recreation. We made a picnic. Turkey sandwiches naturally; Mr T’s with stuffing and sliced roast potatoes and the teen’s usual turkey and cranberry while my favourite is turkey, cucumber and lashings of salt. We filled flasks, strong black coffee and an old ice cream tub filled with cake. The car packed with coats and wellies, a new cd ready for the journey and an OS map “just in case” we should forget our way.
We’ve been visiting the same stretch of coastline in Anglesey for nearly 20 years, it’s traditional for me to fall asleep in the front seat before we even pass Wrexham, to wake just as we reach the Britannia Bridge and for the teen to sit “sulking” in the back. We wrap up warm in coats, hats and gloves. This year it was raining hard as we headed for the sand dunes “Why do we do this” we ask ourselves. The beach is deserted, the wind blows the sand in tiny storms along the beach, gulls swoop down, hoping for scraps as we eat our picnic, sheltered by tall rocks.
Then, the sun comes out and we forget the cold, the damp gloves (soggy from rinsing shells to stuff our pockets) and the biting wind. We’re all seven years old again, wishing we’d remembered the kites, whooping with delight as we race a crazy dog along the shoreline, paddling in the freezing sea.
This is family time at it’s best. A tradition we didn’t even realise we had, the post boxing day trip to the seaside. We do it without even thinking about it, and yet, as I rinse the sea shells and brush sand off my wellies I know I’m already looking forward to next year and every time I pass the dish of cockles and razor clams, mussels and slipper limpets I know I’ll be transported back to this windy day, filled with joy and laughter and know I am lucky.
Find pleasure in the simple things, and be happy.