I belong to a Facebook group called Harwich Rocks. The idea is that you find rocks and stones, paint them (or use nail varnish or pens) with patterns, words, characters etc. then you hide them around town, by the beaches or in the woods. Anywhere you like really.
So many age groups are taking part from tiny children to proper oldies like me! We gathered up a bucket of stones in all shapes, sizes and colours and the kids spent ages drawing pictures and patterns and writing captions on them ready to hide next week.
Next week we’ll go on a rock hunt and hide ours. It’s such a fun thing to get involved in and we have about 20 or 30 ready to hide. I will try to remember to take some photos of our hiding places and any we find. The kids really enjoyed doing it and we will gather more rocks ready to do the same again in the half term holiday. When the stones are found, they are often hidden elsewhere for someone else to find. It's really caught on locally - isn't it a great idea?
I decided not to bother with the Blue Flag beach last week and we went down to Harwich beach instead. This is the beach where I went as a child and where I learned to swim. And it is where we used to take the grandchildren when they were smaller. We stopped going once they started showing too much interest in the water before they could swim.
It’s not designated a bathing beach (tell that to the locals who like to swim there!), but look at that sand. Much kinder on the feet. St Nicholas church in the background is where I got married many years ago.
Apparently it is a rare example of an emerging dune system in a coastline which is predominantly saltmarsh. I read that on the local council’s website.
And my little fishies loved the deeper water with no rock hazards lurking beneath. The girls were in the sea almost constantly until the tide started going out. The boys were in and out of the water, but it was very cold. I had my swimming costume on, but I wasn’t tempted to join them.
They went out of their depth and I kept a close eye on them just in case, but they were sensible and didn't go out further than was safe. I always enjoyed swimming out of my depth too when I was their age.
Someone fed the gulls while we were there and they gathered round a little boat hoping for more. The pier in the background is where the Pilots leave from to guide ships into the harbour. Beyond that with the newly repaired building is Harwich Dock (not to be confused with Harwich International Port) and the cranes beyond that are at Felixstowe.
And we watched these two dinghies leaving and coming back. A friend who knows much more about these things than me tells me that they are Finn dinghies, the type in which Ben Ainslie won gold in the Olympics.
We’ve also been clearing out the garage and found loads of old photos including one of one of the Dovercourt lighthouses taken between 1901 and 1910. There was a lot more sand there back then, but look how busy it was!
Number Three granddaughter got some new pyjamas this week. She loves them! We teased that the caption ("I had fun once. It was terrible") suits her so well as she can take life very seriously at times, but she is always telling jokes. They all have Youtube channels – she asked if I’d post a link to hers so here it is. Izzy Enderman. At the age of eight, she wants to be many things and one of them is a famous Youtuber! I see Dusty has managed to get his tail in the photo.