Huge Pastel Apples

I’m not good at Christmas time. Back in 2004, my dear Mum was ill during the whole of November, died during December and her funeral was Christmas Eve.  I try to be jolly but it’s a little tricky for me. I am so glad that Christmas and New Year are behind us and we can look forward to Spring!

I tend to think of December as a big mountain to climb – it’s hard going all through the month, getting steeper as you reach Christmas – then there is a flattening out between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve and then – behold! here is January the first and you are on the summit and can see all the way across to Summer! Yippee! What a lovely view! Just have to negotiate down through the rocky terrain of Winter and we will be in the Lovely Land of Sunshine and warmer water!

We did have a good time over the holiday – the weather was glorious at times and we managed many swims and walks, a couple of bellyboard sessions and a sunny surf at Polzeath. The waves were huge – far too big for us to manage so we were White Water Warriors that day, keeping in the mushy zone after the big waves break.  It is such a joy to be in amongst the foamy waves, right in the middle of the planet.  The sea never ceases to amaze me.

Christmas Day Bellyboarding fun

We hunted surf at Bigbury but missed the tide window and I had to make do with a swim.


We walked the cliff path from Wembury towards the Yealm, trying to find a secret spot to swim but found nowhere safe enough. The gorse was out!

Gorse near Wembury
Towards the Yealm

We found a stand of fir trees and picked up lots of pine cones to open in front of the fire at home.

River Yealm

We returned to Bigbury and found some surf to play in on the big boards.


I am trying to squeeze in as many swims as possible now, meeting up with my swim chums to dip in the water off Plymouth Hoe. Water temperature is around 10 degrees at present – I stay in for between 10 and 20 minutes,depending on the wind chill factor: if there is a cold wind (especially an easterly!)  it is much harder to warm up after coming out of the sea.    I know it is only a matter of time before I have to head indoors to a chlorine pit to keep my distance up – it’s hard for me to swim a long way in the colder temperature.

Paul always presents some one-day workshops over the Christmas holiday and just occasionally I join in for the day!  I decided to try ‘Working Bigger’ – and thoroughly enjoyed making huge marks with charcoal and pastel on massive lengths of lining paper. It was messy and jolly and great fun.  Sometimes we humans need to be eight again and allow our brains to return to the sensation of play which we enjoyed when we were young.

Huge pastel apples

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