It’s been a long, hot summer. This is the longest I’ve ever done without a holiday and a warden’s life certainly isn’t a holiday.
Silly season has just finished, cars packed with sun cream, windbreaks and screaming children wave at us as they drive out of the site, thanking us for a great stay and promises of returning again next year. As the site quietens for a little while, all of ten minutes. Just before 12 noon cars and caravans start to arrive, in their droves. The kids have left, people wanting peace and quiet are arriving.
Due to ‘The Boss’ agreeing to swap our precious weekend off we have before us nine days without a day off. The sun is out and it’s time to recharge the batteries in anticipation. Plans for a lazy afternoon in the sunshine, back at our caravan, after a quick food shop are put in place, not much chance of getting off site in the nine days so we need to buy supplies.
Heading out we change some pounds into euros for our trip to Lanzarote in the New Year then point the car in the direction of Lidl.
Driving along through Highcliffe and all of a sudden a parking space at the side of the road. The sign promises the luxury of two hours free parking just five minutes walk from the beach. Without any prompting the Volvo eases itself into the space and settles itself in the September sunshine. Blow it, the shopping can wait.
The short walk to the beach, past luxury apartments and villas, is quiet, no one is to be seen. The beach appears into view, last week it would have been crammed with families, parasols, ice creams and buckets and spades. Today, it’s a scene of tranquility. Couples sit, swim and sunbathe. There is plenty of beach for everyone today.
I’ll never tire of this view. One of the things I’ll miss about my eight months living in the New Forest is the ease with which you can get to the coast. The views are breathtaking. The sea air and the sound of the waves has an instant calming, recharging effect.
Pebbly with sandy bits, we find ourselves a spot and get comfy. The sun on my face and I’m soon snoozing. Only ten minutes. The lure of the sea and not knowing if it’ll still be summer the next time we get down here and the flip flops are off and I’m shin deep in the surprisingly warm water.
As with everything, two perfect hours pass very quickly and it’s time to head back to the car and the excitement of a walk around Lidl.
Nine days, just nine days… and breathe.