During the dark days of Child One not sleeping especially well, I explored many avenues to calm her. One unsuccessful technique was a 10 hour video of a hairdryer on YouTube which claimed the calming noise would soothe even the most persistent baby.
The view count was sensational, perhaps because everyone else, like me, was watching in case the hairdryer caught fire after being left on for 10 hours.
Another noise which I reckon deserves 10 hours of your attention is Freshwater Bay on a stormy day. There's a wonderful thing about hearing the loud thud of the breaking waves followed by the sound of hundreds of pebbles being dragged up and down.
Our most recent trip to Freshwater Bay was a bit of a different one, since it was low tide and the waves were so weak that they were barely tickling the pebbles. Without the waves, the water was wonderfully clear and there was even a whiff of sunshine despite the time of year. Not exactly "we'd better get the suncream out" weather, but certainly enough to say something like "oooh, it's brightening up a bit".
Child One (who now sleeps much better) liked the look of the litter-picking challenge at the beach so we grabbed the grabber and wandered round to the second beach at Freshwater Bay, which is round to the right as you face the sea. I was pleased to see that there wasn't a huge heap of rubbish but we found enough to fill a few minutes and a quarter of a carrier bag.
After that we began clambering on the rocks which are exposed at low tide. Freshwater Bay doesn't quite match Bembridge for rockpooling but we found a good selection of sea thingys (don't ask me to name them) and the only other family on the beach said they'd seen crabs and prawns. I did wonder if they were talking about lunch but they looked like a proper outdoorsy lot with boots and waterproofs, whilst I was unwisely wearing my new jeans and my best pair of trainers.
We ended the trip with the familiar discussion of how many stones the children could bring home. I limited them to one and discreetly dumped the others before we headed back to the car. One day I'll return at night and return all the stones they've collected over the years.
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