We have not long returned from our holiday in Polzeath. We hired a very old caravan on a site in the valley which was far from the shops and bars and very peaceful. The rooks woke us up early every day, so we went surfing whilst it was quiet. One morning, we were the only ones in the sea for a good while. We stayed in for three hours and felt smug walking back through the site as everyone was emerging, blinking from their tents. The beach in the middle of the day was a buzz of surf schools, body boards and bathers, so we headed off to The Rumps, passing by the spot where ‘For the Fallen’ was composed. The amount of wildlife we saw was amazing – beautiful beetles, many skylarks and butterflies and a huge clump of harebells.
Coming back from a holiday is always a bit flat. We dread looking through the post in case there are any bills we’ve missed. Luckily we escaped this time and all seems well. Paul’s Summer sessions have begun and most people are settled into their classes. A group of beginners – three generations of the same family! – joined yesterday and enjoyed their first session. We are grateful that Paul’s classes continue to be as popular as this is regular income for us.
I cheered myself up by swimming in the rain with my Tinside swimming chums.
Paul is well into Exhibition mode now, preparing for this weekend’s event in aid of the Plymouth Branch of the RNLI. We will have the usual row about where to hang paintings and how many – I say ‘less is more’ – Paul wants to get them all out there. I expect we’ll be speaking to each other by Saturday morning. Please come along to see our cheery faces and support our local RNLI. Details here!
June was cold. The sea didn’t warm up properly until right at the very end of the month, when I swam into a barrel jellyfish at 6 in the morning and nearly jumped out of my skin. There have been many sightings of these huge creatures off our shores recently – I don’t remember seeing them around years ago. They look surprisingly scary but they are harmless to humans.
I swim with members of Devon and Cornwall Wild Swimming usually off Tinside Beach East. We meet every Friday morning throughout the year. Sean and the staff at The Terrace Cafe just above our beach make us very welcome – during the winter they warm us up with blankets and hot water bottles.
I recently swam across the Tamar and back as part of Saltash Regatta – even getting a certificate to prove it! It’s not far – but the current can be very dangerous, so the timing of our swim was planned with great care. We had safety cover in plenty. There were around 40 of us from Devon and Cornwall Wild Swimming in total and we raised nearly £200 for The Chestnut Appeal.
Tamar Swim in aid of the Chestnut Appeal (photo Pauline Barker)
Paul had his birthday in June and we had a day off in Trevor, our old campervan. We headed to Bigbury with surfboards in tow. We discounted the big boards – the wind was easterly and the surf messy. however, on the other side of the beach was a perfect , small, peeling wave – just right for our wooden bellyboards. We had tremendous fun – a laugh-out-loud surf session in the deserted sea.
My beautiful bellyboard, painted by Paul.
Paul also presented another demonstration evening with wine in June – not without mishap! It was a warm evening, a beautiful painting rounded off by an amazing sunset.
Paul’s Summer holiday classes start soon – ring us up quickly if you would like to learn how to paint and draw – there are some spaces left on a Wednesday afternoon!