Thursday, 28 July 2011

My face is all lit up

It's a beautiful evening, and once again we're in transit between East Sussex and London. It's been another wonderful day, which was mostly spent in a place called Tide Mills, which is a ruined village on the coast somewhere near Newhaven.

The beach there is totally unspoilt; not a tourist, or souvenir shop in sight. You can't even buy an ice cream or a cup of tea, which is curiously refreshing for that part of the world. A massive ridge of pebbles stretches as far as the eye can see, so when you're standing in the sea, you're aware of nothing but beach, water and endless sky.

We swam in the sea. I haven't swam in a sea for years. It was clean and refreshing and I stayed in the water so long that my fingers turned to raisins.

There were 7 adults and four children in total; all great companions for the day. Meriel made sandwiches, and the children ate apples and early blackberries from the bushes which lined the path down to the beach. It's impossible not to fall in love with Tanya's daughter, Lily, who is a tiny dot with the blondest hair, the cutest Scottish accent and the most wonderful smile.

A pebbly ridge

Last night the same group of us sat around a brazier in Meriel and Roy's garden, eating chocolate and gorging ourselves on the delicious cherry plums that were literally dropping off  an over-hanging tree.

Nathan had a very bad headache in the night, which caused something of a panicky drama as I went rifling through every cupboard in Meriel's kitchen in search of painkillers. Fortunately he woke up feeling chipper, and we were able to go to see Uncle Bill's baby as planned.

Little Jago is a handsome little tyke, and his mother, though tired, seems incredibly well. I think she's going to do her task incredibly well over the next 20 years. Funny to think that this is a chap we'll watch growing up, and know for the rest of our lives.

28th July, 1661 was a Sunday, and Pepys went to church twice, the first time with a neighbour from his former dwelling in Whitehall, the second time with Sir William Penn, whose unexpectedly plain daughter was visiting from Ireland.

Nathan on th beach

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