Regular readers will doubt to aware that I am very much an urban animal. There are times when yes, I do stray into the countryside but they are few and far between. I would go as far as saying that Hyde Park or Regents Park are as much as I can take. The great thing about these locations is that they are but a step away from the ultimate urban experience.
For our summer holiday my family and I have gone to the seaside here in England. It has been brilliant and we have enjoyed things greatly. A particular joy has been having a wonderful beach within 10 minutes walk of the cottage we are staying at. A beach that in the early morning and from late afternoon is totally devoid of anyone else. Picture golden sands stretching out over 200 metres before the sea cascades gently on the shoreline. It is an idyllic scene. Things took on a very different view this evening.
My two children - both in wetsuits - paddled quite happily in the gently shelving shoreline. Mrs OrangeBrompton sat watching the view, our children and occasionally joined them. I did much the same and also took lots of arty photos of clouds, sea and shoreline with my Sony RX100 (a wonderful little camera that I will write about another time). We stayed for about an hour before packing up and heading back.
As we returned home the tide was/had been coming in. We knew this. Unbeknown to us however was the fact that the tide in this part of the world also flows around the very large and wide beach, thus forming a substantial body of water blocking our route back. We walked along for quite some time but if anything the width of the water was wider. Surely it cannot be that deep we said to each other?
Mrs OrangeBrompton and eldest child were first in. They were first as I was packing up various items - phones, wallet, camera etc.., in carrier bags and storing them away in my backpack. Youngest child was with me and about to have a piggy back all the way across was looked like the Serpentine at Hyde Park. As I watched Mrs OrangeBrompton and eldest child walk out into the abyss I could see that what we had walked over not 80 minutes ago took on a very different view. Mrs O was up to her armpits in water, while eldest child (who thought wading was a silly idea in the first place) started swimming the short distance they had left.
I started to laugh at this sight until I realised that my turn was next. I was wearing my 2011 Brompton World Championship T-Shirt. My goodness, I am going to get it wet! Before piggybacking youngest child I pulled up my coveted T-Shirt so that my midriff was exposed. I suppose any onlookers would have thought I was trying to get the look of a female beach volleyball player from the Olympics. With youngest on my back, bossing me around and telling me which way to go I stepped forward.
Quite soon the water was past my waist and heading further. I found it incredulous that what had appeared like flat ground could now be so covered in seawater! The last few steps were on tiptoe and youngest jumped off my shoulders and was safely reunited. I had 3 or 4 steps to go when like Oliver Hardy I took a step that resulted in me being totally submerged. As I moved forward and out of the water I heard a chorus of laughter. Luckily the inside of my rucksack was all dry but my T-shirt was sodden with seawater.
I think that I will try and get a better understanding of tide times from tomorrow as I certainly don't want to go through that again. Apparently, if we had of kept walking by the side of what looked like forming mini-lake, we would have come to a crossing point of higher ground, at which we would have only got our knees wet. Typical.