Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Friday, 11 January 2013

Beach Baby

This particular 'beach baby' is me aged two and a half on a family holiday. We were staying in a holiday bungalow in Seathorne, near Skegness on the Lincolnshire coast. It was an easy journey for us from our home in Nottingham. We had one holiday each year, for which my parents would save carefully; I even remember Mum buying one item of grocery each week to put by in the holiday box, as we were always self-catering. Sometimes we stayed in caravans, but this particular year it was a real house!

I acquired this particular snap only very recently, whilst going through my parents' albums after Dad's funeral in December. It made me realise again the power of these old photographs to evoke long-forgotten feelings and memories. I was too young to remember the actual holiday of course but looking at my two-year old self, smiling at 'Daddy' and running the warm sand through my fingers, I was certain as I ever could be that it was a happy time. It must have been sunny as I am in shorts and wearing a hat. My chubby knees are making indentations in the soft sand and my toes would have been curling with pleasure at the freedom they were allowed.

Skegness is famous for its wide, clean sandy beach and, like many English seaside resorts, for its donkeys, which patiently ambled along it, giving generations of children rides. I wonder if that's where my lifelong love of these gentle creatures began. Here I am with my brother about to set off on our ride; if we were lucky the handler would command Rita and Benny to trot, making me giggle with delight.


When the donkeys weren't available then Daddy made a wonderful substitute.

Of course the best way to appreciate the sand was to be immersed in it, and, apart from making sandcastles, this is what you did on seaside holidays - buried each other, but only a little bit. The 'victim'   had to be able to break free with very little assistance. Cue more helpless laughter and jokes about sand getting into everything.

I visited Skegness many times over the following years and in adulthood actually lived and taught in Lincoln, from where day trips would be made. My memories of those holidays and excursions are happy ones, but none I'm sure can match the pure innocent pleasure of my 'beach baby' days.

Listen to the original Beach Baby single by First Class (Top Twenty in 1974).

If you'd like to reverse the sands of time and see what other contributors have made of the photo prompt below, then go to Sepia Saturday for a real nostalgia trip.


31 comments:

  1. Aw, lovely post. I remember childhood seaside holidays so well!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  2. Hello:
    What precious memories are captured here of times of simple pleasures and the joys of childhood holidays. And, since the death of your father, the image of you with him must be a particular treasure. Sadly, we cannot recall Skegness with such happiness. Our abiding memory is of a rain sodden, wall to wall grey town with dense fog walling off the sea.Blackpool and its tower, however.....

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  3. Great post, Nell. Wonderful pictures and shared memories, too.

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  4. Delightful photos. Your father isn't even dressed for the beach, yet there he is on his knees giving you a ride. That's love.

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  5. Great memories, beautifully told. As you so well described, I can feel the warm sand too. Interesting about your mother saving groceries for the holiday. We did similar things and it built up the excitement and anticipation. You were a captivating child.

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  6. Burying each other in the sand was always a great activity. But my favorite picture is the one of your dad giving you a ride. I'm so glad someone was smart enough and forward-thinking enough to grab that memory.

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  7. The first one is my favorite. You look so happy. And I think your Dad looks equally happy on the third picture. Great series!

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  8. Marilyn, the most wonderful beach baby time. Lovely memories.

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  9. What wonderful new found treasures, with your family photos. I especially like your first photo of you in the sand, (nice looking white sand I imagine) and your cute chubby knees- those sure were the days of bliss, for all of us!

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  10. Oh, you look like you were thoroughly enjoying yourself!! Love the first one especially, it is picture perfect as they say. Have a good week!!

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  11. Great post, Marilyn. I knew Skegness well and rode on the donkeys there. The abiding memory was how far it was to reach the sea. We never had a camera when I was young so I cannot turn up delightful photos like yours. You certainly enjoyed your time there.

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  12. Marilyn, you were so cute! I can see what a happy time you had with your family on your vacations and in everyday life. You were lucky to have such great parents.

    The donkeys rides must have been thrilling, and your Mom was so clever to plan ahead for food that way.

    Thanks for sharing these with us.

    Kathy M.

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  13. I love these photos! And that hat is just precious on you.

    Dee at Shakin' the Family Tree

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  14. You Were A Bonny Lass! Splendid Photos!

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  15. A lovely post Marilyn, with some great memories. I love that hat in the first photo.

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  16. The beach babies remind me of my own photos at that age, though I probably wasn't as cute.

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  17. Delightful beach baby in the first photo! Such happy faces. i hope my children remember our beach time here in the USA as happy times.

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  18. You are the most adorable beach baby! How nice that you found these photos from a happy time on the beach with your family.

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  19. Oh how cute these photos are Marilyn! I especially like the first one. So adorable!

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  20. What absolutely gorgeous photos -I love the one of you at the top. I could identify with what you said about saving for the holiday -my mother did that too. Photos have such tremendous power to capture memories, mood and sensations. Thanks for a great post.

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  21. A lovely choice for the theme. Photos can certainly hold the sands of time.

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  22. Great post, and it is wonderful to have you back after your short break. Mankind (and womankind) have wasted so much time over the centuries searching for the secret of eternal life - and the answer was so very simple : an old photograph.

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  23. Love your title, your photographs and the memories of holidays with your father. My favourite the first one of you at 2 years old - gorgeous. I can relate so much to what you say about the power of photographs, as I too have been looking back at old photos for writing a narrative on my father's life and ahve found it a moving experience.

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  24. Like everyone else, I think that first photo is excellent, and I can see why it jumped out at you in that way. The memories have been underlined by sadness for you, I'm sure, but it's good to have you back with us.

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  25. We share that lifelong love of donkeys, Little Nell. I only recently came to the (as yet unverified) conclusion that THE WHO's song, "Happy Jack" is actually about one of these seaside donkeys. What do you think?

    I also think your hat in the top photo is very like the one my dungareed lady is sporting in my photo of my mom.

    I have never been buried in the sand. Perhaps I should add this to my "bucket" list.

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  26. P.S. That's a real photo to treasure - the one of your father in the donkey-role.

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  27. Of all the bathing beauty photos on Sepia Saturday this week, the first of you here is my favorite. It could have been taken by a famous photographer - it's that good. Love it.
    Nancy

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  28. Invaluable memories! This picture of you is so sweet and real! I like everythig about it - shorts, straw hat and your happy smile most of all!

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  29. I've forgotten the game of burrying. Just like you, we were only allowed to raise sand, not to dig a hole. Happy memories!

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  30. You are just so cute in your hat! There is just nothing like happy family photos memories on the beach! Takes me back in time!

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  31. You did very well with the sand of Time...
    That first pic is priceless.
    May it ever reflect your spirit!!
    :)~
    HUGZ

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