beach cottage, bEAching, general chit chat

bEAching…a weekend escape

We escaped to our cottage in Scotland for a few days this last weekend – for those of you who are new readers we are camping out now in a static caravan in the garden of our cottage since the flood in 2014 made it impossible for us to use the cottage.

We had already been warned of bad weather up and down the country so went with no expectations of getting in the garden and instead I went prepared with a few indoor jobs and a pile of books and magazines to read.   I actually like this time of year – the place is deserted and kind of bleak looking but it has a beauty of its own in the greyness.

Unexpectedly Friday was dry and sunny, although bitterly cold, and we decided to make the best of the weather and have lunch out and then drive over to Portpatrick and Stranraer and have a wander around before the weather turned.  The shops are well stocked with Christmas gifts and trimmings so much so that I actually wondered who will buy it all.  Many of the smaller gift shops and cafes in the area are only opening at the weekend even over the Christmas season as trade appears to be very slow this year – it is such a shame for these small businesses who rely very much on the extra boost to trade that tourism brings.  We always try to support these shops where we can buying locally and not buying goods down here to take up there.

We stayed indoors on Saturday as the heavy rain forecasted had set in and continued through the night so it was like sleeping in a tin box and because we are so close to the sea the constant roar of the waves crashing around made it even harder to sleep through the noise.

I filled my time trawling through old family photos that, once edited, will be part of a photo book we are compiling to have printed by Blurb books for my mum’s Christmas present.  We did the same for my mum in law some years ago capturing a snapshot of her life and she was really pleased with it.

With hundreds of photos I found it quite hard deciding what to put in or leave out – some of the older photos bring back very happy memories for me as we had so much fun as a family especially in the 1950’s and 1960’s when I was growing up so it was quite a slow job.  I can even remember all the dresses that I am wearing as they were made by my grandma and the cardigans and jumpers knitted by my mum.  Here are just a few of my favourites –

1954 – This is me with my family when I was only a week or two old – note the old-fashioned dustbin and air raid shelter in the background – granddad had turned it into a garden shed…

1957 – Does anyone out there recognise this Lion – could it be in Skegness or Scarborough?

1957 – somewhere in Torquay – Dad (on the right of the picture) used the automatic setting on the camera and we are all laughing as he only just made it into the picture – an early form of selfie!  Wonderful bathing costumes though…

Great Gran (back left) always had her Sunday best hat on even on a picnic – mum in the centre looking glamorous as ever…

1958 – The Promenade at Blackpool – mum and my Aunt in their very fashionable headscarves and me in my knitted Pixie hat!

1958 – One of my favourite pictures my Aunt and Uncle improvising when camping by washing up in the cake tin – we went everywhere with that tent – hardly a deluxe model it looks like it is about to collapse and I think it often did but all added to the fun…

1958 – me again with Spot the dog picking wild flowers (certainly not allowed now) – always into mischief, we did everything together…

1964 – I am 10 years old here and we are collecting the tiny four berth caravan that was going to be our home for over 6 months on the site where Dad built his own house…

and this is the house – quite an achievement – dad had the help of  3 brickies / joiners and laid all the drains himself – whenever we wondered where dad was he would be mixing concrete or digging trenches.  During this time mum fell unexpectedly pregnant with my sister and she was born just after we managed to move in…

1966 – me with my mum and little sister – anyone remember these pushchairs? – pre buggy days – you could sit either way round but it was hard work heaving them on and off a bus.

Ah well enough of the ‘Good old days’ and back to the Christmas preparations – I also began the Advent calendars on Saturday but found they are not as quick to do as I thought and getting the photos for mum sorted has to take priority so we can meet the Blurb book deadline.  I am thinking now that I may have to abandon the calendars until next year.


On the positive side we now have our family get together date fixed and it only took about 100 messages to one another via Messenger (what did we do before Facebook) until at last everyone is able to agree on a time, a date and a place which is just as well because there is very few weekends left and I now have only one free weekend to get everything done – the cake, the nut roast and the cards and gifts.

On the decorating side the new bed arrived Monday and the wardrobe doors Tuesday, so now it is just the finishing touches.  The old bed that is to go to my daughter’s house is proving difficult to transport – too big for our estate and the little van my daughter can have loan of is just that…too little!  So we have to find a creative way of squeezing it into our estate – I will leave that job to OH.  If we cannot move it I have visions of it being part of our living room decorations over Christmas so I will just drape some tinsel over it!

This week I am looking to bake the cake and start the Christmas cards.  How are your plans going?

Back soon x

22 thoughts on “bEAching…a weekend escape”

  1. What a delightful post! I think your photos are enchanting and so very characteristic of their time. I have a bunch of very similar ones from my own childhood although I can’t match your Great Gran in her Sunday hat on a picnic – wonderful! Your Mum will be over the moon I am sure with her Blurb book – they produce them beautifully and what a lovely way to enjoy these old pics in a new format. Enjoy your cake-making etc! E x


    1. It is a warming and pleasurable experience to connect with your past for a few hours on a cold rainy Saturday – I must do it again sometime. A lot of our photos are actually slides that dad took and very occassionally we get out the project when the family are together and have a slide show and a good belly laugh.


      1. We projected a lot of old slides on to a plain wall ( white if possible) and photographed them.
        The result is not as good as the original but it enabled us to look at them on the computer.
        I want to select the best and get them put on to a disc proffessionally. Sue


        1. Hi Sue If you know how to burn CD’s you can put them onto CD yourself from your computer. We did this for my 60th with a timeline of my life and then you can even add different music to the background which makes them even more interesting to watch as you can set your watching device (TV or Computer) to automatic slide mode. When my younger daughter got married she bought the full disc of all the photos taken by the photographer and set this to music – the result is almost like watching a moving video of the day as the photographers pictures straight off camera are in sequence and rapidly shot so it is like watching one of those old flick books!


          1. Thanks, I must admit I hadn’t thought of doing them myself.
            I used to put all our photos on CDs for safe keeping but now I use a small external hard drive.
            You have given me a project for the New Year.
            I want to give each of our boys a photographic record of their grand parents and our family.


  2. Wonderful family photos. They remind me of some of our family photos from around the same time. Life was fun in many ways even though it was a much more simple existence. There was always something funny on the TV to watch together. Even soap operas were funny in those days, due to having very amusing characters in them. I remember us giggling a lot at the programming. Not really so today, I never watch them anymore as they are too overly dramatic and crime filled.


    1. I think exactly the same about the soap operas – in fact I wouldn’t even need to watch them if I wanted to as they are talked about each day by my colleagues at work who do watch them. They think I am very strange as I prefer the Archers but only listen to this at the caravan.
      I loved watching the Generation game with my family on a Saturday evening – I would laugh with my dad so much we were in tears and my favourite comedy at that time was deinitely the Good Life with Margo – I have the boxed set of DVD’s together with Ann of Green Gables!


  3. Your photos brought back similar memories for me.
    My granny didn’t wear hat for picnics but sat ramrod stiff in a deckchair..
    My dad hated picnics and always dressed in a sports jacket even when we were on the beach at
    Ledelfoot in Scotland ( near Barr on the Wesr Coast ).
    It’s your scabbed knees, in the photo with Spot, that sparked the most reminiscences though.
    I was always falling over. We lived on a hill and I often fell over running down it. An old man who lived there used to threaten to keep me if I fell over again outside his house. I wonder what reaction there would be these days to that threat!! Sue


    1. I know Lendelfoot well, it is up the coast from our cottage and I always like to go to see the chalets – did you stay in one – I am so envious if you did it is a delightful place.
      Funny you should notice the scabbed knees – I too noticed on most of the photos of me that I have I always have a plaster or a scab on my knee. Before I was bridesmaid when I was 4 for my Aunt I had to wear my tartan ‘trews’ for 6 weeks to avoid having scabs!
      Yes adults could be quite frightening in those days! I was always afraid of my Gran’s neighbour as they couldn’t have children or disliked them and I never played near their house!


      1. We didn’t stay in a chalet. We stayed on a farm in Barr owned by the Milroys.
        I think we must have gone on to the beach just south of Lendelfoot as there were no chalets.
        There were a lot of rabbits suffering from myxomatosis one year. Dad treated some of them and one seemed to be showing some improvement by the time we left. They were too ill to run away from us and were a piteous site. However much of a pest they were that was a hideously cruel way to kill them. It remains a vivid memory. Sue


        1. Myxomatosis is still around in the area – we had a rabit on our garden a couple of years back with it – as you say it is heart renedering watching one die. You can sign a petition to parliament to get them to prevent this diseaes by going to


  4. Wonderfully nostalgic photos and such a beautiful family! My Mum hired a pushchair like the one in the photo for me when we had a holiday in Guernsey I howled in the shop when it had to be returned as I loved it so much! . Very late with Christmas prep this year and have to do everything still! x


    1. Oh thank you for that comment about our family – we did have heaps of fun back then.
      I pushed that pushchair everywhere with my sister in it – mum had a live in baby sitter as I loved helping to feed and bath her and could also play with all her new toys – as I was only eleven when she was born I still played with dolls in those days.
      Every year I think I will do better with the Christmas prep – not managed it yet!!


  5. I love your photos. It looks like the seaside was a big part of your lives – and just being outdoors as a family, which is not the norm these days. You had quite the transformation between ages 10 and 12 – tres chic! I haven’t been camping for ages but I am thankful for modern tents!


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