I’ve decided I’m calling it.
Admittedly it’s early days: as I’ve been writing this post the tapping of my fingers on the keyboard has been accompanied by the rain spattering the window panes. White horses skitter across the bay, and the leaves in the trees are being buffeted by a wind too strong to be called a breeze. But that’s just part and parcel of the season here in Devon.
And looking at the week in balance there is no doubt in my mind that we have crossed the boundary into summer.
It’s half term of course, so the streets of Brixham are filled with holidaymakers. Dangling lines over the harbour wall to tempt crabs into their buckets, clutching ice creams which drip deliciously over little fingers.
On Breakwater beach paddlers are venturing deeper and deeper into the sea, delightedly splashing in the icy water and sometimes taking the plunge and diving in for a swim.
It’s that for me that marks the transition into summer most clearly. I am still a fair-weather swimmer. I aspire to being one of the hardy souls who takes to the sea all year round, but I’m not there yet. This week, though, I made it in.
We’d managed to tire the toddlers out with stone-throwing, and leaving them dozing under the watchful eye of friends we headed for the water.
And it was glorious!
Pretty feckin’ freezing, obviously. We’d hoped to have a dip in Shoalstone pool, which whilst it wouldn’t have been warmer would have at least given the option of jumping or diving in. But pump problems combined with excessively low tides put paid to that, so we scrambled over the rocks instead. Feeling my way through the shallows I almost gave up, but my stubbornness took over and saw me through till that all-important moment when numbness takes away the worst of the cold and you can just concentrate on how wonderful it is, floating in the salty sea looking back at the shore, cobwebs of all varieties well and truly blown away.
We’d hoped to have another dip yesterday, but the sun wasn’t shining quite so brightly. It didn’t deter Arthur from paddling up to his waist – I think swimming kit is going to be an essential part of the arsenal when we head to the beach from here on in!
The clouds cleared as the afternoon went on, and the beach was still busy when I walked back from my council meeting at 9 o’clock last night.
So yes, I’m calling it: summer is here.
Stay tuned for more watery adventures over the weeks and months to come!
My word of the week is summer.