The Best Twisted Old Rotary Line In The World

How Side Tracking Can Add Adventure To Your Life: a non cautionary tale.

We were supposed to buy a washing line, but the shopping cart contains a kayak.

How did this side tracking take off?
It was the wet towels that did it: but first, some recent history:

Sunday 9th August 2020
Home from work, straight home, skipping the beach in spite of the day’s heat because our garden has been populated with tents and family.
Gathered at the top firepit, where tea was cooked, grabbed a sausage and a glass of house red, lay back to chat and watch for shooting stars - this being the time of the Persiad meteor showers.
We forget how lucky it is to lack light pollution though we do not fail to appreciate the view. Every sparkling streak strikes wonder. It is 1am before Mr and me go to bed.

Monday 10th August 2020
A 5am thunderstorm had woken us after the 1am bedtime, and now it was stifling hot.
After work the fuel light in the car sent me to a garage where I stared at the pump making sure the word I was reading did indeed say ‘diesel’ and not ‘oh, now you need a mechanic.’ From here I took my poached brain to the beach, to the sea.
Walked back up the beach salt-sticky, able to tackle the drive homewards.
The roads were fog swallowed, I was right in the belly of it.
At home the sky above the fire pit cleared to give us some fine Persiad flashes, and we ran out of house red.
The kids had been to Tintagel, and Bude Sea Pool, they are having a grand adventure - wimped out of taking the coast road though. Perhaps I shouldn’t have described it.

Tuesday 11th August 2020
A blue sky, jump in the river day. We scrambled up waterfalls, through a series of plunge pools. Swam, acquired bruises. The deep pool was busy but not impossible - the young’ns took a tombstone leap, found that fear can spin round into fun, climbed up to do it again, again.
Took off to Widemouth beach for the evening but as it was lost under mist rerouted to Summerleaze.
Did not have the energy to get into the sea with the rest of them. Sat cooling, watching the gulls watching us.
Also gladly gave up the beach fire cookout plans, substituted fish n chips, no complaints. No gull thievery neither, though we could have spared a chip or two.
Away from the sea the air is heavy, more storms are predicted.

Wednesday 12th August 2020
Started with pancakes. No storm imminent. Packed the cars for some Daymer Bay beachtime. Drove through Polzeath which was thronged with overheated people. Daymer was busy enough, but being more spacious we could sprawl and swim freely in the clear water, fish spotting, go rock pooling, play on the paddleboard. (It is far easier to sit and paddle and one is closer to the water for aquaviews - what is all this standing up nonsense about?)
Bribed Grandchild 4 out of a Not Fair sulk (he wasn’t the only one throwing sand, he just happened to be the better shot) with a lesson in shrimp handling. One must be still and patient to be rewarded. And then the ghost-shaded alien in your hand can surprise you with its jumping skill and be gone (while Granma chuckles, coz she knew).
It is on this day that me and Grandchild 1 speed-paddle kneeling on the board because our legs are tired, and then Mr and me sit tandem and row together around the bay and we really really do love the flow of it. Thoughts are happening.
Ordered Indian food to collect on the way back.
Sat around the firepit, ate our feast, hoped to hear foxes yip, observe night sky traffic: except the rain came. It kept us at a fresh temperature, a good thing.
The sky was flashing with lightning from a faraway storm, ridiculous disco-speed flashes, still going at midnight when the last of the grown-ups turned in.

Thursday 13th August 2020
Summerleaze beachtime. Tide was going out so the spacing improved although it had not come in enough to wash the slick of suncream from the sea pool. Took all the kids to Tommy’s Pit instead and they joined in the tombstoning (not from the high rocks, under supervision, keeping the risk taking appropriate).
I had a swimsuit strap break which limited my wave time (and it was crowded, whereas I am spoilt for having the sea almost to myself due to off peak beach habits, even without a pandemic) but it was lovely to be a lump in the parasol shade, listen to grandchildren negotiate sand games-
G1: ‘You are always so bossy!’
G3: smirks her truth
G4: ‘I need one though.’
G5: ‘I can dig with two spades. I need them.’
(With these skills Grandchild 5 has got herself booked for drainage digging when our land turns up.)
Clouds snuck onto the horizon, thunder rumbled; we were still sun-baked like a row of terracotta pots. Corralled our stuff inside windbreaks, went up the steps to Life’s A Beach to have dinner. (Pulled jackfruit, can recommend, even if not locally grown.)
As we ate, the rains came, the heavy rains.
At home we overloaded the rotary washing line which has bent out of shape and needs restringing again.
We were dry enough then, refreshed, so reinstated visiting plans to a garden where the children could free range. The sunset was neon red. Sky darkened, night was clouded.
Back to base for hot chocolate. Mr taught the lads how to break boards with strikes and kicks. (Granma here showed off her elbow skills. Pow!)

Friday 14th August 2020
Packing up day. Rain held off. I cooked. Mr washed up.
We tried to check for left behind things, distracted by goodbyes - after they had all left we discovered a pile of boy-clothes, two folding chairs, and a bagged up gazebo which Mr Mac had to pop back for; meeting us at Meldon where we were teaching an outdoor class, which got drenched and then some of us went for a river dip and got no wetter- my boots were ankle deep on the inside.
We had done a load of washing that afternoon and hung it out on the misshapen line and thought maybe we should just buy a new rotary, a more substantial thing.
But once online somehow (paddleboarding was fun, wasn’t it? But sitting down, so we are not paddleboarders, are we? And our 2nd hand searches have been a disappointment) a watersports website popped up, so we bought a sea kayak instead.
Paid for out of our land fund, which is a deep investment. 
We will keep the old washing line going now as an atonement, as a balance, and as a souvenir of our week.
It was the wet towels that did it.
It was our children being pragmatic and knowing that our place is their place.
It is the best twisted old rotary line in the world.


That sounds like the perfect week - and decision.
Lisa Southard said…
No regrets! Looking forward to having more sea based adventures :-)

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