Did any of us ever imagine, when we were the kids sitting on the back seat, on the way to Coole Park or Malahide Castle for a picnic, that we would one day be half of the couple in the front of the car? Being stingy with the biscuits and pulling rank over window controls and the volume on the radio. Sitting there with a face that could stop a clock “creating memories” for the kids.
And yet here I am. Arms folded in the front passenger seat I am barking. “If you ask me that again you are getting NO sandwiches when we get there.” An idle threat if ever there was one. My husband and life partner prefers to drive whilst reading the street atlas on his knee rather than ask me to navigate. The child sitting in the way- back is shouting for Spin 103.8 on the radio. The baby is crying and crying and crying. The other two are old enough to realise we are lost, their parents are not on speaking terms and the day is turning out crap. For the record Bramblestown House is not currently open to the public and if you read about it in a nice colour supplement a few years ago and thought a visit would be nice, you’ve missed the boat. The beautiful gardens and stunning house are behind closed gates. So we did a (dangerous) u-turn and the driver thought it would be a good idea to find a beach. A long, long forty minutes later we pulled into a car park facing the sea. The tide was in making the beach about eight feet wide. As well as shells, sand and a good sixty percent seaweed there was dog poo and rubbish. On the bright side, we didn’t see a disposable nappy. Or a syringe. But we didn’t look too hard.
So. We found the beach. The sun disappeared and the wind came up. It was too dirty for the baby to play on. After nearly an hour fighting the tyranny of the car seat, that didn’t go down well.
“Well, this is shite”, I noted. My husband nodded grimly and a voice from behind us said bravely “Is it really shite?” The other two waited for our reaction and when none came, joined in. “Its shite and shit and crap!” they voiced joyously.
Then we got out the sambos, the 7up and the absolute highlight for me, a flask of tea. Watching the kite surfers, we beeped every time one of them did a jump and after a quick walk on the poxy beach, came home.
Another day done.