Tag Archives: Breakwater beach



“A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2016.”

To have a beach – Arthur’s beach – on the way home from town is probably the reason I love living here the most.

He is so completely at ease there – could spend hours throwing and climbing and sitting and looking. At this time of year it’s particularly special, because more often than not there is no-one else around.

Just me and my Arthur, the stones and the sea.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity for The 52 Project. 

Sunday photo: 13th December 2015


Arthur in his happy place.

Throwing stones into the sea is still one of his very favourite things to do, but he loves to explore the beach now too: clambering over the rocks at the end whilst I watch, heart in my mouth and muscles poised to leap to his rescue if he needs me.

I sometimes lament the lack of manufactured play areas near our house, but really of course  this natural playground has so much more scope. And whilst Arthur plays I get to breathe in the sea, listen to it tumble the pebbles at its shore and lose myself in its bigness for a few precious moments before we continue with our day.


Linking up today’s post with Darren at One Dad 3 Girls for My Sunday Photo and Jodi at Practising Simplicity for The 52 Project. 

Summer is here!

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.

The Reading Residence

Home Sweet Home

This time last week, I was feeling a little sad to be home. We’d had a wonderful holiday with some much-needed quality family time, and I had once again been infected with the wanderlust that makes me want to see all of the corners of the world that I can.

This week, though, we have accidentally had the most wonderful time in our little town, and it has left me wondering why we need to travel at all when we have such a glorious place to call home.


There is Berry Head, where we went last Sunday with my parents, my brother and his fiancee. Arthur was thrilled to see everyone after our trip away, and he had great fun flying his kite, doing impromptu yoga with Uncle Ash, and just enjoying the view.

IMG_0908 IMG_0906 IMG_0905

Then there is Breakwater beach. Our local beach. I honestly never thought I’d be able to say that! With the spectacular weather we’ve had this week it’s felt a little like a corner of the Caribbean at times. Arthur has continued on his mission to get every single stone from the beach into the sea, and we’ve enjoyed a picnic with friends as well as a sneaky takeaway, just the two of us.

IMG_0904 IMG_0903 IMG_0900 IMG_0901

I’ve really become aware this week how many lovely people we’ve met in this town. It’s taken a while for us to really feel like we belong here: the first 18 months when both Leigh and I were working in Plymouth didn’t help, and even once Arthur had arrived and I began to spend a lot more time in Brixham settling in to a new town wasn’t easy. But this week both Arthur and I have had social calendars almost full to bursting, and I have realised that we both have genuine friends here now. Which is nice.


Of course my latest venture – standing for election to Brixham Town Council – has made me feel even more as though I belong. It’s been brilliant getting out and about seeing people and places that are new to me, and so far the reception to my election campaign has been really positive. Mostly anyway – but that’s a topic for another post.


For this one suffice to say that I have had a week which has left me loving Brixham even more than usual. Ten days post-holiday when I still lived in London I would have been yearning for escape, but right now nothing would pull me away from the place I am proud to call home.




My word of the week this week is home.

The Reading Residence

Also linking up with this week’s prompt of ‘travel’.


Simple pleasures


It’s been a tricky couple of weeks for getting out and about. The weather’s not been great, and with Arthur recovering from the croup which struck him down just after his birthday I have been reluctant to take him out in the cold and the damp without good reason.

But this week has been all about getting back into normal routine. His classes have started up again, and although he’s still a bit sniffly we’ve both had enough of being stuck indoors.

On Thursday morning I awoke to torrential rain, with a sleeping toddler snuggled up beside me. It was still dark outside, and I really doubted whether we were going to get it together to make it to music. But we did, wrapped up in the sling and our trusty babywearing coat. It was lovely to see friends again, and by the time we were ready to head home the sun had appeared.

It was still cold, but as we passed our local beach Arthur began to bounce in the sling, asking excitedly if he could throw stones in the sea. And so I let him down, and watched as the smile spread across his face, filled with joy at this simple and familiar pleasure. It reminded me how very lucky we are to live where we do, and how much I’m looking forward to making the most of that over the months to come.










Linking up with Fiona at Coombe Mill for Country Kids. 

B is for beach


More specifically, Breakwater beach in beautiful Brixham. There might be better beaches out there but this one is mine and I love it. From the gently rounded pebbles that on certain days appear to be almost entirely uniform to the slightly too sleep slope that builds anticipation as you stumble down towards the sea, from the water that glows turquoise in the sunshine to the panoramic views across the bay. B is for beach.

Joining in with The Alphabet Photography Project over at PODcast.

Word of the Week: Out

Today the word that sums up the week that was is:

IMG_4935 copy

It could just as easily have been ‘door’ – both words in Arthur’s burgeoning vocabulary that he’s using to let me know he wants to be outdoors. Permanently, I reckon, if he got his way. Which definitely bodes well for all the camping trips we have planned for this summer!

This week, though, his need for fresh air and open space has definitely saved my sanity. I’ve been in the final throes of the novel: I started the week with about six thousand words left to write, and part of me just wanted to get it done. I was impatient, and excited to see how the details would pan out. I mean, I vaguely knew what was going to happen in the end, but not until it was written would I know for sure.

But combining writing with motherhood means I’m not entirely in charge of my schedule. Writing happens when Arthur naps, and in between – well, I have no doubt it did me good to get out and about.

On Monday the grey drizzle of the weekend lingered, yet still at lunchtime Arthur had his face up against the glass doors, longing to escape. I managed to distract him till after the post lunch writing session when miraculously the cloud began to clear and we went to let off some steam around Shoalstone pool.

image    image

On Tuesday it was glorious out, and it was all I could do to force myself to sit down at my computer. The story quickly captured me of course, but once Arthur had woken up I was very glad of the lunchtime picnic we’d planned with friends at Breakwater beach.

image    image

On Wednesday I woke up knowing that today was the day: I was on the final chapter, and as I’d been drifting off to sleep the night before the closing paragraph had come to me, so all I had to do was fill in the gaps. The words flowed as soon as Arthur drifted off for his morning nap, and I finished just as he was waking up so we could both enjoy a celebratory stroll to Berry Head in the afternoon.

image    image

Yesterday the celebrations continued when we spent pretty much the whole day outdoors with some friends at Paignton Zoo. Arthur was in his element – especially when we found an area we’d not discovered before where he could get up close and personal with some friendly goats.

image    image

All in all this week’s been a bit of a whirlwind really. My brain has been on overdrive – first with the challenge of pulling the ninety thousand words of novel I’ve been writing to a satisfying close, then with the realisation that this thing that’s been giving me purpose for the last three months has ended. Having Arthur to shift my focus away from myself has been, as it always is, fantastic. And the fact that he’s wanted that focus to be on going OUT has been even better.

The Reading Residence

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall