We completed our jigsaw last night at midnight. Raily, Nathan and I became the perfect team, sparring off each other, getting more and more obsessive and excited as the hours lengthened.
Nathan and I are actually staying down the road from everyone else in a local B and B, which shall henceforth be known simply as a "B" as breakfast is (perplexingly) not included. We're in the village of Newport itself, which is surprisingly chi-chi and fancy for this part of the world. They have whole food shops here, farmers markets and fancy cafes. It's like being in Stoke Newington with plenty of sea air and no lesbians.
We went to Newport Beach this morning which is miles out of the village and like some terrible wind tunnel with dreadful grey sand. Going to a freezing cold beach to eat a picnic whilst shivering and huddling under blankets is such a typically English past time. Sam assured us that there were lovely rock pools further along the beach, but by the time all of us were assembled, we'd sort of had enough and decided to retire back to the cottage, and our much more beautiful sheltered beach, which is so empty and inaccessible to anyone but the cluster of houses at the top of the cliff that it feels like our own private beach.
I spent most of the afternoon with Tanya's daughter, Lily, searching for pieces of sea glass, those little worn down flecks of glass of all colours which you seem to find on certain beaches. We colour-categorised our hoard, defining them as crystals, emeralds, blue bottles and cola bottles...
It started raining quite heavily, so we made a beeline for the cottage, and sat with the kids doing another jigsaw. This one was a much easier 500 piece puzzle of a fairground which we polished off in a couple of hours.
By the time we'd finished, the sun was shining again and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. There's a saying round here that if you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes...
We ate our tea out on the terrace again, all sixteen of us eating al fresco sitting on a long table with the sea just over our shoulders and the sun beating down. Once again we were treated to a little play - this time a musical - performed by the kids. I think it was about a sea monster. It was all a little Bauhaus for my taste. Sam pointed out that the songs were like the Glee cast performing songs by Berio! Hugely surreal.
We watched the sun setting behind the cliff opposite, hoping for a "green ray," a phenomenon I've not heard of. Apparently the last flash of sunlight as the sun sets can sometimes appear green in colour, and this is something which is apparently considered very lucky. No such luck for us tonight, although I'd consider sitting on a terrace over looking a bay whilst eating food with a group of wonderful people plenty lucky enough.
Meriel and Iain actually went swimming in the dark tonight. When they returned I felt quite envious... But we'd started another jigsaw. This one was a thousand-piecer of Waterloo Station in 1948 which Tanya, Paul, Raily, Nathan, Iain and I stayed up until midnight making a good start upon before we skedaddled back to our B. Night night!