Winter Sunshine

View to Tennyson Down from the cliff of Compton

Blue skies in January compel me to squeeze every last sunny drop from the short hours.  Saturday’s last light was golden at Compton Beach.  It was chilly, sat on the rough grass of the cliff’s edge, but still perfect for a winter’s picnic of tea and brownies.

I always hated tea from a flask, but I’ve just discovered that the secret is proper loose leaf tea without milk (and a big slab of chocolate brownie to help wash it down).

We sipped our tea as the light dipped below the water, glowing orange while the last of the surfers sat and watched that last sunny drop.

Surfers at Compton, Isle of Wight in last light

Surfer entering the water at Compton, Isle of Wight at sunset

A Windy Day and a Birthday

Derek and Bryony and Compton Beach, Isle of Wight

Windy days like these are perfect for blustery beach walks after filling up on a birthday brunch. My brother was home from London for the weekend, so we took the excuse to get the family together and celebrate his birthday a few days early.

Driving out to the countryside, it felt like late autumn; the strong winds have made a mess of tidy road edges, and the rapidly stripped leaves reveal creaky old oak. Mum welcomed us with hot coffee, while we caught up on our weeks and stuffed our faces with fried potatoes and bacon.

We had bright sun on our beach walk, and the wind was whipping the waves in to a froth. Something about the wind and crashing waves makes me want to run around and twirl. Food, family and blustery walks are the makings of a good Sunday. And chocolate cake helps too..

Kite surfer on stormy day at Brook Chine

Alec and Wendy on the beach and birthday cake photo collage

Beach Run

Bryony running on beach with sea in background

Bryony on the beach and pebbles photo collage

This is a new feeling for me: pounding feet in the sand, eye on a distant horizon, rush of waves, and salty air.  Arriving on this firm stretch of sand feels all the sweeter when it comes after hopping over tussocky clifftop grass and gingerly racing down steep steps.  Taking my own advice, we found plenty of excuses to stop, for blackberries on the hill, and photos on the beach.  The blackberries made a pretty sweet crumble for pudding, washed down with plenty of custard, and well-deserved after my first beach run.

Tom picking blackberries

Tide out at Compton Beach, Isle of Wight