There's not much more relaxing after a long, hot afternoon at the beach that a cool shower to wash away the salt, sea, sand and sun-cream. Even more relaxing is knowing that your little one is dropping off happy and clean but exhausted next door on nice, fresh bedding.
It has been sweltering today, a marked contrast from a fortnight ago on The Boy's 2nd birthday when it widdled it down torrentially all day. The sky has been azure blue with a few wispy clouds here and there, accentuated by the criss-cross of the jet planes ferrying holiday makers around the world.
Of course on a day like today there is only one place to go: Barry Island (our nearest blue-flag sandy beach).
Only that's where everyone else in south-east Wales had decided to go. The road leading in and out was chockablock with cars crawling along at a snail's pace. I veto-ed the decision to go to the usual Whitmore Bay (the Island's main beach) and the alternative Jackson's Bay; instead we ventured into the unexplored Watchtower Bay and Old Harbour. At the top of the bay lay the skeletons of old boats ready for exploring by curious little boys at low tide, at the entrance to the harbour is a huge expanse of silky soft, golden sand.
Better still there were about ten families over the entire ares! Whereas around on the main Barry Island beach, we'd have had to fight the seagulls, rubbish and chavs to find a metre square to set up on! The cross is where we set up 'camp', in the protection of the harbour walls.
We had great fun! The Boy, daddy (especially his ears) and I were slathered in our new sun-cream (UltraSun Professional Protection) and built a whole load of sand-castles, trotted down to the fast-receeding water's edge and paddled away to our hearts content.
Definitely going there again as opposed to the usual beach; no chavs and no fairground noise!