This week saw us head to Port Patrick, which was simply beautiful. A quaint little harbour with a perfect little beach, and best of all a free car park right beside it. After spending the entire day swimming, climbing on the rocks and having scooter races (by 7pm we had the car park to ourselves), we watched a sunset that you would only imagine seeing in somewhere exotic, whilst also being able to see the lights of Belfast across the water. The following day we travelled south and found a brilliant spot at Sandhead where you can pull up on the vast grass on the beachfront, so we took full advantage and stayed over there too.
We visited Logan Botanic Gardens, which had palm trees and an entire collection of plants from Chile! In Scotland! A fabulous place to visit and explore, even if the highlight for the children was playing in the sprinkler. Dan also took Jack and Oscar to Logan Marine Life Centre, an outdoor place where you can feed all types of fish. They said it was lots of fun, and this gave me some one to one time with BinBin (this is what we call Vince mostly, for those who don’t know). We had a real laugh jumping over the waves at the sea at Sandhead, swimming, and throwing pebbles. When you have a few children, sometimes it kind of feels like constant firefighting when someone’s ran off, another person’s lolly has fallen on the floor, then someone falls over. But it really is brilliant to just have a few hours together to actually bond with that one child, and have all the attention on them for a bit. At about 7pm, Jack and I swam out to sea, so far that it wasn’t worth uploading the picture Dan took, because you couldn’t see us anyway! His confidence is soaring. The picture below shows how Mediterranean the sea appears.
Where Scotland differs greatly to England, is that there are very few ‘pay and display’ car parks, there are many more bins, everywhere appears to be well maintained in terms of cleanliness and litter, and there are public toilets in every village. This is obviously only in our experience so far, so no offence meant. But it seems that England are very short sighted in the sense that yes, money can be made/saved by cutting services and charging for parking etc, but does it really pay off in the long term? It seems to me that if the environment that people live in and visit is nice, enjoyable, and more affordable, then they are more likely to be happy and healthy (enjoying getting out as a family, exercise, community) and so therefore money could be saved long term on health services, crime etc. I realise this is just conjecture, but I can feel it here, in a way that cannot be adequately conveyed in text.
And on that note I’m going to end the post, as I glance out the caravan window at Oscar and Vince weeing into the paddling pool and giggling all the while.