• Overstrand Life

Sunday 31st May 2020 - First You See Them, Solitude and Have I Missed Anything?

After the barricades across the entrance to the car park were thrown over the cliff for the second time, along with the original gate, the replacement chains and tape held out well. That was until sometime during Thursday night. Passing the car park early Friday morning, vandals had taken it upon themselves to remove these. I thought to myself, ‘Here we go again’. Walking on the beach, looking up at the cliffs, and yes the chains and tape were there, not far from the barricades and old gate. Back home, Peter informed his contact at NNDC, who told him this would be dealt with and that the car parks and toilets would be re-opening. Later in the morning, I received a message saying, a number of car parks and toilets were opening on the 29th, in other words that same day. So, whoever took it upon themselves to remove the chains, had basically wasted their time. But what did we see on Saturday morning? The barriers etc. had been reclaimed from the cliff, and were once again across the entrance to the car park. Later in the morning when I was returning from the shop, the barriers had gone. So it really has been a case of, first you see them and then you don’t! As for the toilets, which were opened on Saturday morning, I would suggest anyone needing to use the facilities, with the continued threat of Covid-19, makes sure they first sanitise the areas they will be using. Public toilets, by their very nature, provide a place where germs etc. can be picked up.

With the tides in our favour we have been walking with Barney along the beach first thing in the morning. With nobody else in sight, until we are on our way back, we enjoy the solitude and peace whilst mooching along the sands. Of course we are not entirely alone. There are often gulls at the waters’ edge, sometimes finding a tasty morsel washed up, rabbits frequent the cliffs, hopping from one shrubby clump to another and the occasional muntjac deer wanders across the beach before returning to safety of the cliffs. It’s a pity the storm surge of 2013 destroyed the sand martins cliff burrows, otherwise we would be able to observe parent birds, beaks full of insects, returning to feed their young. Today’s photos were taken on Thursday morning; such a tranquil scene to start our day.

We have been doing our weekly grocery shop online for a number of weeks now, but there has been something which I haven’t been able to buy and which I have really missed - cut flowers. There is no way I am going to cut flowers from the garden, the garden is where they belong, not indoors. When we were working, Peter brought home cut flowers for me each week, and after moving here we have sourced them from a local supermarket. I was delighted when our youngest son sent me flowers for my birthday, which with care lasted two weeks with the last few stems popped in glass on the kitchen windowsill. Sensing my feeling of deprivation, Peter cut some of the flowers on the potatoes, popped them in a small vase and left them on the table in the conservatory, for me to find – how thoughtful. But, the other day, a further search on the grocery shop’s website and up came three different bunches of cut flowers. Did I miss them before, or are they a new edition? What I do know is; I am now eagerly awaiting tomorrow’s online delivery, when once again our home will be graced with colourful blooms.

© 2020 Overstrand Life - Janet Ellis

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