Friday 27 August 2010

Stepping into the Mesolithic . . .

That's what I feel we are doing every time we head for the seaside in the summer. Only instead of finding shells with inhabitants to EAT, we are looking for pretty empty ones to take home as decorations and memory prompters. We felt we were due an afternoon off, and the weather was absolutely glorious today, so we headed for Pendine (our favourite bit of the coast), stopping at a well-known supermarket for the ingredients of a car picnic. Pastrami rolls and crisps eaten, we headed for the beach.

Whilst the others strolled beachwards, I visited the little Museum of Speed, where Parry Thomas's land speed record car, Babs, is housed. Pendine Sands were the perfect place for a land speed record attempt - they go on for miles. Sadly Thomas was killed in his attempt. HERE is a link to the Pathe News story of the car Babs (buried on the beach by his friends in 1927) being exhumed in 1969.

The car has the most incredible presence - it is almost as if it is a live person in the room. I think I have mentioned before that I pick up on atmospheres. Last time I was there I was aware of the feeling of terrific speed. I wanted to see if I had been imagining it. Today what I felt was apprehension. Not fear, but an awareness of something not being right. It grew stronger as I stood there, so I took a few photographs and left for the brightness of the sunny beach. Even looking at these photos again, the sensation returns. Odd. I can't explain it - it's just something that happens to me sometimes. Empathy . . . and more.

We wandered around the headland into the sheltered cove where there are lots of caves and rock-pools. G was tired (I had dragged her out of bed before she'd had her sleep out, so she elected to sit quietly in the sunshine with a puzzle book, whilst the rest of us took off our shoes and socks and rolled up our trousers to go paddling!

It was so relaxing. I took photos, looking across the sparkling water towards the island of Caldy, a short boat trip from Tenby. I would like to visit it before we leave Wales. I may make it my birthday day out next April. There is a Cistercian Abbey there and whilst women are not allowed within the Abbey itself, there is still plenty to see.

The view of Pendine village from the headland.

With our feet in the water and our backs to the sea, this was our view.

If you click on this and enlarge it, you should see the steps leading up over the headland. Quite a steep climb, but fabulous views and a great "short cut".

The sea has worn and bleached these rock pillars at the cave entrance.

There are other caves higher up the cliffs too - perhaps due to natural formation from rock falls, though one looks like it has a big round window.

My husband with our eldest daughter, paddling. That's Caldy Island you can see in the distance behind them.

A natural little "rock arch" in a rock pool.

This looks like a big lump of the "conglomerate" rock found in these parts.

Looking along to the next headland, with the sun streaming through the clouds onto Caldy Island in the distance.

Looking back the other way towards the Gower peninsula.

A better view of Caldy.

When we climbed up the steps, and over the first little headland, beyond the Jackdaws you can see the vast (and virtually empty) expanse of Pendine beach, where the land speed record was attempted.

A very tired middle daughter . . .

And a slightly more awake eldest daughter and unshaven husband!


  1. Looks like a lovely time was had by all - or nearly all anyway:) Those rock formations are fantastic and the beach looks beautiful. I will write as soon as I can but Steve and family arrived from SA yesterday so life is likely to be a bit hectic over the next few weeks especially the two where they are staying here!

  2. Jenny those photos are so lovely! thats just the sort of place I would like for half term,just not so far sigh lol! Your kids are beautiful you know that right? x K looks very happy there too,that last photo is precious & special x x x
    GTM x x

  3. Great photo's BB.

    The shot of 'the paddlers' has lovely light running through and the other shots of your bonny lassies are excellent too.

    synchronicity too as I also had pastrami rolls and crisps for a light lunch......

  4. Oooo weird! My Dad was there in 1927! He wasn't too happy about exhuming the car in '69. His stories of being there still linger in my mind. When he used to tell me them, I must have been about 8 the first time, he gave them a load of presence, I could see it in my mind's eye. Later, when I saw pictures, I saw I'd seen true. Dad could really take you there.

    He raced cars himself, Donnington and Brooklands, plus lots of rallying. A definite petrol-head :-).

  5. Elen - what I didn't mention (though I have in a previous post on my original blog), was that my husband's father used to come down from a Manchester showroom with sports cars to display them on Pendine beach - racing like the wind. He also drove at Brooklands, but again in a display capacity. Our middle daughter (she of the sunglasses) is a good (if fast!)driver, and she LOVES to drive, so I think she gets it from her grandad. Wonder if your dad and my husband's knew one another?

    Al - I was quite pleased with some of yesterday's photos. I love light on water . . .

    GTM - it is a lovely beach for children - very shallow and people were paddling yesterday a good 200 yards in from us, and still only ankle deep!

    Rowan - when you come to stay, I shall take you there. Have a lovely time with your family visiting.

  6. Your posts are always so evocative of place and presence. I got goose bumps/prickles reading about the car--one could say its because the north window is open and a cool breeze blew in--or, more likley your words conveyed that sense of "otherness."
    I'll be back to look up the places mentioned here and to explore the term "mesolithic"--you do keep my mind on a quest.
    Those picnic lunches are the best--ours always included cheddar cheese and dill pickles with the sandwiches.

  7. Beautiful photos of the ocean.
    Very beautiful daughter and very handsome man, indeed.

    Have a great weekend

  8. Lovely pictures, BB, especially the last two.
    Pendine looks lovely, I'll have to bring the children there next time we visit!
    I get funny fealings too about places or objects. It happened to me in Jane Austin's house and wasn't at all pleasant!

    Speak soon and take care.x