I managed to prise F away from the farm this evening. Anyone who is or knows a Dairy farmer will understand how difficult this can be. Farming is not a 9 to 5 job, it is a 24 hour 365 days of the year way of life. At the minute, with the price of milk being so low, this way of life is a hard slog and at times quite demoralising. Making time to get away, even for an hour or two is important. So in order to ‘kill two birds with one stone’ (strictly metaphorically) I decided we should go rockpooling for our 9th day of Wildness.
I made a picnic and got the car loaded up so all F had to do was shower and change once he had finished his evening chores. We headed for Poppit Sands, a beach in the North of the county. The beach forms the start (or end) point of the Pembrokeshire coastal path. The sun was still shining as we pulled up at the car park, but a blanket of sea mist hung ominously just off the shore.
The start of the picnic wasn’t particularly auspicious. C had fallen asleep on the journey and woken grumpy. She refused to eat anything except for the Mr Kipling cake slices I found at the bottom of the changing bag (individually wrapped-super handy). JoJo wanted to eat everything in sight-sand, pebbles, driftwood,she thought it was all perfectly acceptable to teeth on. F refused to take his work boots off, and looked as natural on the beach as I imagine a white rhino would in the Antarctic.
In an attempt to liven things up, I headed for the rockpools. C immediately perked up and started paddling about. She marvelled at the gelatinous sea anemones suckered to the rocks (Look Mummy, they are like Jelly babies) .We scooped up handfuls of Sea Lettuce, holding it up to look through it, like sheets of acetate. Then we let it slide between our fingers back into the pool with a satisfying ‘plop’.
Laver, the key ingredient for Laverbread, lay draped over the rocks like a red-purple shawl. Fronds of Bladderwrack dangled into the clear pools, unsubmerged airbladder bursting like firecrackers if we accidentally stood on them.
With all our ungainly splashing and Cs’s lack of patience, I didn’t think we would spot any fish. In a shallow pool that still held warmth from the hot afternoon I noticed some thin tracks snaking across the sand. I waded slowly through, and a flash of gold caught my eye. A small fish had darted under an overhanging rock, possibly a Goby. I tried to get C to come over for a closer look, but she lost her footing and landed with a splash.I braced myself for the inevitable wail, but it never came. Instead she giggled ‘ Mummy, i’m soaking! I need a new dress.’ By now, the mist had started to roll in , so we decided to head back to the car. Hopefully we will come back and finish our exploration another day.