Lossiemouth East Beach Reconnaissance

19 July

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It was only 3 weeks into the school summer holidays and we were really fed up hanging around waiting for the rain to stop. There are only so many indoor picnics and home-made bubble mix you can do with minxes! So on the first day that it didn’t pour with torrential rain, we ventured out to Lossiemouth in search of the East Beach!

Midweek, on a rainy day, we were spoiled for parking spots. So I chose the prime spot – right between 2 ice-cream shops! In case the weather turned, I decided to hit the ice-cream first before venturing on the beach. I have to recommend Miele of Lossiemouth, though. Not only did they have delicious flavours, but the server was lovely when Midi Minx changed her mind about the flavour for the 7th time, right after her ‘final’ decision had been scooped and placed on the cone. I didn’t mind (yes, I think I’ll just have to have an ice cream now, after all!), but the man insisted on giving us the ‘wrong’ one free, and gave Midi her 8th choice.

Four happy minxes toddled out the shop, along the shore to Seatown, and over to the loooooooong wooden bridge to the sand-dunes. Maxi wasn’t too happy looking through the slats, and Mini insisted on being carried (all the better to rub her cherry ice cream in my hair and her jacket). Midi was too engrossed in her ice-cream to care much.

When we got to the empty, golden sand, it was like uncaging wild animals: they zoomed off and rolled in it. We trotted along a little to watch the surfers and ‘walked the plank’ of a washed up tree-trunk. Four tornado fast-jets treated us to some synchronised take-offs and landings at RAF Lossiemouth. Looking over, the sky was as dark as their skins: a deep seal-slate-grey. Ominous! Still, there were dunes to climb and bum-slide down. Midi and Maxi cackled as they created ‘dinosaur tracks’.

Suddenly the surfers came out the water and left for the car park. Hmmmm… what was the biggest, blackest cloud doing? Would it fall here or skirt past us? We didn’t have long to find out – the heavens opened as a sudden squall blew us off the beach. Normally I’d have taken the girls to a more sheltered bit of the beach and taught them how to stand with their backs to it and wait the shower out. But as I bent to fasten up 3 little hoods, I noticed that baby Mini was shivering violently and her little hands and lips had gone blue. Deeply alarmed, I hauled out my trusty Didymos Carmin Fish sling (thank God I brought it after all!) and strapped Mini to my back. It left her head exposed, but gave more body heat. I got hold of the other 2 minxes by the fist and yanked them along the shore, across the bridge, and quick march down to the car.

I stripped Mini of her wet clothes and wrapped her in 2 fleece layers, tucked her in her car seat, towelled her ginger curls with the sling, enveloped her in my spare fleece jacket, and gave her the picnic sandwiches I’d made her. Then did something similar to the other 2. Midi had been moaning about having sand in her wellies. I took one off. As it released her foot with a ‘pop’, I got a sand shower. Her welly is a TARDIS, obviously, because there’s no way the laws of physics can explain how that much sand got into that little space. As for the folds of her trousers… well, I’m still finding sand trickles, a month later!

With Mini finally pinking up again, we finished our picnic in the car, then drove home to give her a warm bath and a lovely snoozy nap What to do with the bigger girls? Well, dress them up in shower-hats and wipe-cleanable clothes to finish painting stones, of course!

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