rest days

30 June 2017

It is sometimes hard to recall the 13 years that I lived in London, it is like a distant dream. I don't know how I survived it, but at the time I know I loved it there.
Maybe I am getting old, but I never get bored of peace and quiet now. Since last year was extreme for us in many ways (a new baby, and a caravan renovation project, a business and a shop, gobbled up our summer), this summer is going to be all about camping and taking it easy!

 The littluns of course know nothing of living in London (although they love our visits there a lot), and although we have built a lifestyle for ourselves, I sometimes stop to think about the sort of life we are creating for our kids. never ending, never stopping, haze of deadlines  and computer screens.

Here on my blog, I do not dwell on the unhappy events in our life, the stresses and tragedy that have happened to us or to our family...these things may apply to many people at some stage or another, and we are no different. But whilst all that goes on around us, and we know could strike again at any moment, we try to make the best of times out of the few sunny days we get here in Blighty. We are thankful, but at the same time, wary of the fragile we are, and how important we are to each other. I may not say it often enough, but our camping trips are obviously not our whole lives, just the bits where we get a chance to document it, the bits where time just stops still for a moment, and the bits I want to remember.

We recently camped at Chine Farm, on the Isle of Wight, during a little heatwave that rolled it's way over England. Kissing everything into gold, and extending the days into never-ending time warps.
We took our caravan and camper van not far along the south side of the Island. We slept two in each, taking turns to alternate one child + one adult. Ms P loves her bunk bed in the van, whilst Mr. Leafy favours the crispy linen sheets and giant windows of the caravan. I can't choose.

The site itself is quiet and rural. Perched on a cliff top, but with a sort of muddy landslip, flanked by thick gorse and brambles which gradually sinks into the sea, so no worry about toddlers dropping off the edge.
There is a deep ravine, known as a 'chine', of which there are many on this small stretch of coastline, it is made by a fresh water stream that erodes the cliff and trickles out into sea. 

This part of the Island is famous for it's smuggling history and many shipwrecks. Can you imaging the numerous trading ships passing this busy passage during the 18th and 19th century? I can almost see them. A tall ship sinking with a broken mast, sails flapping in the storm, and locals carrying barrels off the beach in the twilight, this stuff actually happened here!

Well, not much of that going on today except the odd cargo of drugs 😱 

Due to the steep climb, lack of cafe and toilets, this beach is only really visited by a few locals and some fishermen. It is a 10 minute walk from the campsite along the cliff top, with a hefty climb down.

It's mostly shingle but with patches of sand and large rocks. The fresh water stream reappears in a small channel in the beach running down to the sea, which is great fun and perfect for toddlers and babies to play and cool off safely. The swimming is good although there is a bank of shingle which drops down deep quite suddenly. Fine if you know, not so good for little people to swim.

The sunsets were pretty magical, so excuse the squillions of photos here!

Little P goes to Pre-school two times a week, and we couldn't bear to cut short our trip (and beautiful weather) because of that. So she went to school and back again from the campsite 👌
Whilst she was away, we took a drive to Niton, which is not too far along the same stretch of coast.
Down a long very bumpy unmade road, you end up at Castlehaven, where there is a small static caravan site (very nice!) and this little cafe overlooking the sea.

There is a small sandy beach at low tide although not that easy to get to.
This is a proper fishing cove, which is also popular with surfers.

The slipways are slippery!!

In the evening we had a visit from some friends and their kids, we had dinner sat on blankets and then we all went down to the beach for an evening swim. Except I fell into the sea after being hit by a small wave with a baby strapped to me 👏 😳

'I hurt my foooooooot'

My mister and I often dream about how relaxing our life will be once the children grow doubt we will be relaxing, drinking wine whilst the sun sinks into the sea...wondering why the kids haven't replied to our numerous emails 😂

...Reluctantly we had to leave the next day due to work, but we will definitely be visiting here again!

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