It is well known that I loathe the cold, and Winter. There is some pleasantness in Autumn, but after that, as far as I am concerned it is a matter of 'getting through it' until Spring arrives. Having some minor circulation problems the cold also causes me health problems, and increasingly, pain in my hands.
And it is not just the cold, everything I love goes away; butterflies, flowers, pottering around in the garden picking salad veg and strolling about barefoot. But the worst thing is the lack of light, uninspiring for painting, difficult for photography and making me yawn at 8pm. The days are shorter and like some kind of furry creature I just want to eat pies and sleep.
So when last Saturday I got back from teaching my Art Class to find an appointment-free afternoon, and boyfriend trying to stop himself prodding and fiddling with the lime plaster he had just applied to the fireplace, I said "Let's go somewhere!" The weather was beautiful and it really did feel like this might be the last 'proper' summer day.
Boyfriend had a suggestion: A couple of weeks ago he had been to Leigh-on-Sea near Southend to pick up a second-hand dishwasher we purchased on eBay (Beko, nearly new £53 - bargain!), and had come back enthused with the local coastline.
So off we went, only to find that the local Regatta was on, and half of Essex had turned up:
Finding a parking place was tricky, and the area next to the coast was heaving with people. I do like a market, but this was more the place to find rip off band merchandise and dodgy burgers than vintage finds or local treasures. We fought our way though the locals, catching glimpses of a calmer scene between the local shops and pubs:
Every few minutes a train thundered past, as the railway is very close to the coastline:
And we snapped lots of interesting boat pictures, both big boats...
And smaller ones...
And the most impressive one of all, the home of the Essex Yacht Club apparently!
Finally we wandered up through steep local parkland and got a great view of the evening light on the water with heathers and plants in the foreground:
It was a great farewell to Summer, and as we drove home the inevitable text message arrived from the teen, who had just arrived home: Where was everyone, and what time would dinner be ready? I waited until we got back before breaking the news that we had already eaten and that perhaps at 17 years old she might manage to cook herself a little something. As she muttered her displeasure and stomped off to raid the fridge of free food and heat it up with free gas, at least she could console herself that the dishwasher would take care of the dirty dishes...