We are so fortunate that my in-laws have a home in Port Alfred which we can use any time we want to get away for the weekend. I drove down on Friday afternoon. Little Man fell asleep; so did the puppy, I slowed down to a trundle. Enjoyed the scenery and a few unplayed podcast episodes (99% Invisible is a great one). Little Man stayed asleep once I arrived at the house. I managed to unpack the puppy and all our gear while he slept in the car. John played a hockey match in Grahamstown then caught a lift via the Pig & Whistle. I pottered around. Made supper, did some crochet. Tucked Little Man into bed and snoozed in front of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. It’s amazing how quickly you can slip into holiday mode with a change of scenery. I think it helped knowing we were there for the whole weekend.
On Saturday morning we were up bright and early. Although the weather was less than stellar, we headed off to the Bathurst Agricultural Show. It’s everything you expect a small-town agricultural show. show-jumping, stalls, mini-doughnuts, mud, hot coffee, rain speckled tractors, fancy pigeons, goats and blue-ribbon lavender chickens. We took Little Man in his carrier, and the dog on a leash (socialising and leash-training her!) and had a good wander around. My favourite hall is the one for the flow-arrangements and home crafts. Prize-winning vegetables ala River Cottage, breathtaking works of art cleverly disguised as quilts and lovely knitted and crocheted blankets. I think next year I will enter a piece. Now I’m dreaming up a project to make. Little Man needs a full-sized blanket…
Little Man was a little unsure of the livestock, I suppose it’s the closest he’s been to a goat! And the roosters and chickens were rather noisy! We skipped the piggery, it had begun to drizzle again and some friends requested our presence for hot coffee….an offer hard to refuse! We watched a few stubborn horses refuse to jump over a particularly narrow and “scary” jump before toddling through the final hall. By that stage the signs of meltdown were imminent and it was still raining. So we decided to slip away. Literally in my case, dirtying the only pair of jeans I packed. I was sad to miss the vintage cars but I had a hair appointment to get to and all four of us were now muddy and damp. There’s always next year right?
After a delightful hour wherein my hands were massaged and my hair was trimmed, we retired home for chip-rolls and an afternoon snooze. By the time we were all conscious again, the weather had cleared and it was the most beautiful evening. Riddly wasn’t too thrilled with the beach this time. She took one look at the crazy moving water and headed for the sand dunes as fast as she could. No amount of coaxing could convince her that any of this was a good idea! Blake to a little while to get used to the sand, he doesn’t really like having his hands dirty, but once he got over that he really enjoyed himself. We took a walk out along the breakwater and watched the crazy surfers jump into the foam below, bypassing all that tiresome paddling out to the backline.
As the sun sank behind the dunes, we took the tired puppy and damp sandy child home for a bath and bed. John and I enjoyed a lovely oxtail and stout stew with a beer or two and a couple of episodes of Kingdom. Amazingly everyone slept really well (only 1 wake-up for me!) and the next morning we headed back to the beach. Because why not?
Little Man loves the water. Once he got over the chill, he happily followed Dad in deeper. Searching for shells and pebbles. Nappy sagging further and further down between his knees! Riddly was most distressed by these developments! She kept running towards them barking and then back to me as if to say “Do you see this madness?! Do something!”.
Blue lips and shivering puppy told us it was time to go home for some breakfast! A quick trip to Spar for Easter supplies. A lovely lovely braai and then sadly it was time to pack up, mop the floors and head home. Stunning weekend! Just the rest we needed before heading into a short week and then Easter!