Friday 10 April 2015

Five On Friday

Hello and welcome to my Shropshire patch, especially if you are here for the first time.  Today I am again joining in with Amy at Love Made My Home  with Five On Friday so you might like to pop over there and see who else is joining in this week.

We have had glorious weather here this week, blue skies and warm sun, and it has set me hankering for the seaside.  If you have called in here before you may already know that although I live a long way inland, I love the coast, so while I am here today weeding the garden I shall be thinking about these beaches, any one of which I would visit again in a heartbeat.
1. Kippford
When The Mathematician was 12 years old we rented a house in the southwest of Scotland for a holiday and by the time we left, a week later, we were all a bit smitten with Dumfries and Galloway.  One warm, sunny day we drove the car to the seaside village of Rockcliffe, parked it there and then walked along the Jubilee Path to Kippford.  This is what we saw when we got there -
Would you like a closer look at the beach? -
Yes, the beach was entirely comprised of shells!  I didn't want to walk on it for fear of crushing them, but there was nowhere else to walk.  We were not the only people enjoying the view that day -
 2. Vik
A few years ago I inherited a modest legacy from a dear aunt.  I decided to spend some of it on a special holiday, something we would always remember and say, "God Bless Auntie Peggie," so that her memory wouldn't fade, so we went to...Iceland.  There was method in our madness: as the Best Beloved is a teacher we could only go in August and neither The Mathematician nor I can cope with very hot weather, so our options were more limited than most people's.  It turned out to be a spectacular holiday, and this beach is one of the reasons why.  Vik is the southernmost village in Iceland and its beach has been voted one of the ten most beautiful on earth.  Shall I show you? -

White waves crashing onto black, basalt sand.  As I said, spectacular.  I have a tiny glass jar full of that sand on the dresser in my kitchen. 

3. Aberffraw
I had been feeling very low for several months so during the October half term that year, the Best Beloved and I took advantage of the fact that our children were elsewhere and booked a cottage in north west Wales for a long weekend.  On the Saturday we drove over the Menai Straits to Anglesey, to Aberffraw in the west.  We parked in the village, by the old bridge, and walked along the estuary to the beach.  This is the very special thing about Aberffraw: you can't drive to the beach and you can't see it until you are on it, either walking along the estuary or over the dunes.  This particular day in October was very sunny and windy and when we arrived, it took my breath away.  The sun was sparkling on the water, there were kite-surfers performing great stunts and there was a big, wide, curving, golden, sandy beach held between two green headlands.  It was amazing.  My spirits lifted that day, and Aberffraw has become a place we go to whenever we can.  It is very special and I find it healing and restorative, even in February when it's cloudy and cold.  Oh, and there are great finds there for beachcombers, especially after storms.  (Heart sea urchins, anyone?  Dead porpoise? - I wasn't even tempted to bring that home.)

4. Cayton Bay
Cayton Bay is on the North Yorkshire coast, a few miles south of Scarborough, which is unusual for us because we usually head west rather than east.  It is very popular with surfers,  of which I am not one, but I am a beachcomber and there are fossils here - it's a Jurassic coast, like Dorset.  There is also lovely golden sand.  We spent a lovely, lazy afternoon here a few years ago while camping nearby and confronted my unfounded prejudices about the North Sea - I had no idea it could be so blue.

5. Ogmore-by-Sea
Ogmore is in south Wales and we sometimes go there when we visit my family in Cardiff.  It is a fascinating place for geologists, there are fossils to be seen in the carboniferous limestone rocks (on my mantelpiece I have an ammonite which I found there) and, when the tide is out, a vast expanse of golden sand.  It's also where we first showed The Teacher hermit crabs scuttling across the rocks.  In October 2012 I thought I had found a piece of ambergris there, ambergris being biological matter which comes out of one end or the other of a sperm whale and being very valuable to the perfume industry.  The Best Beloved, never having heard of it, didn't believe me and was most anxious that none of us should touch it because he thought it was a petrochemical product washed up from the oil refinery along the coast at Milford Haven, so we left it on the beach.  Three months later we saw in the news that a man and his dog found a large piece of ambergris on Morcambe Beach which was estimated to be worth £100,000 and seeing it, the Best Beloved realised that I was right (ha!).  It's the one that got away...  

That's The Mathematician, doing her little dance of joy in October 2010.
Just looking at these pictures gives me so much pleasure.  I do hope you like them too.  Thank you, Amy, for giving me this opportunity to share them.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x


  1. What wonderful places!!! The beach in Iceland is stunning isn't it!!! You must have loved it. The beach with the shells is amazing too, I have never seen a beach like that! I imagine that it is rather like walking on pebbles but not! Thank you so much for joining in! It is great to have you taking part. I hope that you have a great weekend!! xx

  2. Hello Tiggywinkle! I just loved this post ... the photos & your stories connected with them. The whale thingamajiggy was so interesting. What a shame you didn't grab it up. It could have provided a few more holidays ;) I think I'll have to check Iceland as a place to visit sometime. I hear more and more about it and it's all good ... love that black sand!

  3. Hi there, must be a real beach lover from the looks of those pictures, and the one with the seashells is fascinating. Great pictures.

  4. What lovely beaches to visit, lots of happy memories for you x

  5. These are such lovely photos and filed with wonderful memories for you, too.

  6. What an amazing collection of beaches with lovely stories connected to each one. The North Sea does look very inviting in your photo. How special to find an ammonite, I remember them from my geology days :)

  7. They are fabulous pictures! I always feel restored when I spend time on a beach too. I have a special infinity with Anglesey too and there are a number of beautiful beaches there that are magical. Thank you for sharing these lovely pictures x

  8. What a super post - like you I live inland but love the coast. Seeing your wonderful photos has made me long to see the sea again soon. We visit Anglesey each year and have discovered some wonderful beaches there but not the one you mention so that has gone on my list of places to visit:)

  9. They all sound heavenly and look spectacular, I'm afraid it's mostly cold North sea coasts which are more familiar to me. I love the look of Abberfraw it sounds very special and the shell beach looks amazing. Thank you for sharing your memories. :)

  10. Thank you for visiting via Five on Friday. It is a real treat for me to see the lovely places you have visited. Thanks for sharing the lovely photos and the interesting story, especially in #5!!!

  11. Oh these photos take my breath away - and make me want to dust off my passport!!

    I so badly want to visit those beautiful places, and especially Wales as I have a family heritage that traces back to there (my great grandparents came from there).

    Thanks for sharing and feeding my dream. I'll get there someday. xoxo

  12. Love all these places! I would love to visit Iceland one day. I've been to Cardiff, but for work so not many chances to explore the area. Thanks for sharing!

  13. You have a knack for finding absolutely beautiful seaside scenes! Jx

  14. Oh! Bring on summer - bring on the sea! No "seas" around here, however, - instead we visit the 5 big Great Lakes that encircle my part of Ontario, Canada. I grew up visiting Lake Huron and now we take he kids to Lake Ontario most often. So many great memories are made by the sea, aren't they??