I’d like to be the family that just quietly arrives somewhere and enjoys something, but sadly we’re the loud people who draw attention to ourselves. We make people stare at us, and I imagine they feel pleased that they’re them and not the cacophony of us. I envy the silence that must descend as we leave everywhere.
Like just now. We parked up in a National Trust car park in rural Pembrokeshire. For a split second after we switched the engine off and before I closed the window, there was just the noise of a distant skylark high above. I climbed out of the car and began to walk towards the steps. The National Trust warden said, “Hello,” and started to tell me about a seal pup on the beach. Meanwhile, 20 feet away, the 10 year old shut the car boot on my husband’s head. My husband’s yelling made the 15-year-old with learning disability start shouting with panic. The warden was starting to look concerned. I go calmer and calmer in a crisis, so I just said, “Brilliant, we’ll go and see the seal pup in a minute. First I’ll tend to the potential head injury.” Bemused, the warden left me to it.
No blood. Slight bump. Everything OK.
We grabbed the packed lunch and headed down to the beach – the 15-year-old singing opera as we went. Once we’d reached the shore we saw the pup and kept our distance (Terry Nutkins taught me well). The seal mum watching us from the water and me watching her from the rocky shoreline, we both decided it was OK. She wasn’t a Hollywood killer shark and we weren’t Canadian fur hunters. We’d be friends if I was a seal or she was a human. She left the pup to us and our distant noise and swam off in search of fish. “No chips for her,” I thought sadly before I realised I was being ridiculous.
My husband said afterwards he’d noticed the Olympic long jumper Greg Rutherford on the beach too, and I marvelled that this was a mere aside during our half hour. We left the mother seal, the pup, Greg Rutherford and about 15 other people with the sound of opera reverberating around the cliffs and drove away to take our noise elsewhere.
The sale rumbles on this week with half price Lucky Dip undies, half price Porthtowan sleepwear and some gorgeous organic cotton T-shirts which are better than half price. There’s free delivery too on all orders over £30 at the moment, and if you use the code SUMMER10 at the checkout you’ll get an additional 10% off everything.
Have a great week, and in the meantime would you be terribly kind and pass me the gin and some noise cancelling headphones?