Over the course of the Summer, we've been to many different places in a bid to have a 'great family day out' and they've all been pretty damn near perfect. We've garnered many memories and had a lot of laughs along the way, but the one place which is always guaranteed to make us feel at ease as a family is the beach. And while we've been to quite a few spectacular beaches during the past two months, it's the one that is on our doorstep that always brings out the child in all three of us.
For most it's synonymous with Gavin & Stacey, or Butlin's holidays in the 1970s, but the holiday camp days are long gone, and most of the programme wasn't even filmed in the locality. Barry Island is so much more. A blue flag beach with golden sands and clear water, protected from strong winds by the rocky peninsulas at either end of the Whitmore Bay, the sounds of the funfair fade once on the beach and the sandcastle building begins.
A fortnight ago we decided to pack up for the afternoon and head down to sate The Boy's incessant pleas to visit the Island. It was August Bank Holiday Sunday, and it was sunny. I expected to have difficulty finding a car parking spot, let alone a spot on the beach. However, it may as well have been a weekday in December, it was so vacant.
And we did all the things that you should do at the beach; built the most enormous sandcastle fortress, buried each other in the sand, ate chips, splashed in the sea, kicked sandballs, flew a kite, and then washed our bits off in the sea afterwards (that might have just been The Boy though).
Gavin and who?