We had a lovely break this week, thanks to a local couple that we have become really good friends with. Like us, one has disabilities, and the other is their carer as well as their husband. It really makes a difference when people understand the kind of things that limit where you can go and what you can do, and how you can get around things.
What we did was a day out at the seaside, and we haven’t been able to do anything like that in four years. It was an absolutely beautiful day, fantastic weather, and we found a quiet spot on the beach where we could picnic and sun bathe (with sun screen), listen to the sea, take in the view across the estuary, and the air which is really different to in London. It was really pretty heavenly.
Where we went was Southend, which is a traditional Essex seaside resort for the East End, and I have to say it was beautiful. Packing the wheelchairs in the back and heading out to the coast felt wonderful. Where we were is on the Thames Estuary, and you can see across to Kent, but it is salt water and very tidal, technically the North Sea, and it does feel like the sea.
Somehow in this environment I felt very at home and at ease, but as I was saying to my friend, the British Seaside is an amazing institution, almost like a carnivalesque dream life, materialized from a de-sublimated national subconscious. My friend said that it was invented by the Victorians, and I thought yeah, the same people who invented the concept of hallucination. How could you not love that?
In our wanderings, I even overcame my age old body phobia and left my shirt off, encouraged by others doing the same, and heartened by the amount of tattoos on display (I have eight myself).
We had a nice coffee while the car was being fetched, watching the waves lap and shimmer with the westerning Sun.
And we made our way back to Poplar as late afternoon went into early evening.
It was perfect, and it was like being out with school friends who really enjoyed being with each other. In the days that followed we have continued to have wonderful weather, with a big thunder storm that night (which I slept through!), and rumblings and flashes since. Indeed it was the weather I partly named my blog after :0) Jupiter had gone into Royal and summery Leo the day before, which was perfect. Almost through the trippy Sun sign of Cancer and into my beloved high Summer of the Lion.
The day after our seaside trip, a delivery of lavender plants came, which Phil had found at a bargain price. I love lavender, and this french lavender has funky flowers and an earthy flower scent, with foliage that almost smells like eucalyptus. Welcome to our garden Mr Lavender :0)
Hope you are enjoying your season, wherever you are!