Braving British summer weather at the beach


Alison and her friend Jo at the beach I seem to have driven all over the country in the last few days, but I wasn't a million miles away from Surrey last weekend when I went with Jack, my friend Jo and her daughter Sophie to the West Witterings. 

You may remember the heat, clear blue skies and balmy breezes that caressed the country last Friday, in stark contrast to the FILTHY weather last Saturday! 

Jack and Sophie were born within 8 weeks of each other and are now 16… both Jo and I reckoned we were pushing our luck to expect them to come to the West Witterings for a day on the beach, but they surprised us both and themselves! 

Alison's son Jack and their friend Sophie We left early, falsely jolly and muttering under our breath that of course the weather would change, and if not we could always eat our picnic in the car… which we did, and infact were loathe to leave the somewhat steamy interior to face the beach! But sheer British stoicism won us over and we stripped down to beach wear and fleeces and headed out over the headland. 

It was so bad it was good! I went paddling, Sophie went swimming, Jo was so cold she lost all feeling in her fingers, and Jack photographed the whole event (see the photographic evidence right and above). In spite of the very worst of a British summer, it was a fabulous day and one I'll remember always. 

Today couldn't be more of a contrast with the weather, and my sister's driven up from Hampshire with her daughter to see us, so we've spent the evening in the garden and are promised more sunshine tomorrow.  I've finally grasped the nettle and made Lucy's bedroom up with the futon and one of Charlie Ruch's lovely patchwork quilts. Looks almost the same… well in truth it looks pretty and a little less empty :) 

I've also just scoffed the most enormous pizza and am having trouble balancing my laptop on my stomach to write this, but I've wedged a cushion in to make it more even. I used to make my own pizzas years ago – infact when I was first engaged I made three and took them into London from Hampton Court and then across to Liverpool Street and up to Colchester for my fiance and his family!! 

Apart from losing a little ham and some sweetcorn, the pizzas were in pretty good shape – I, however, had lost friends but gained a seat on the train because of the rather odd smell of cheese and raw pizza… but they were well received.

Thanks for your suggestions of films – have cried a river watching Seven Pounds with Will Smith, and then The Hours with Meryl Streep. Am determined to go and watch The Ugly Truth at the cinema… it's meant to be hilarious. Have you seen The Proposal with Sandra Bullock? That's meant to be good too.

Must fly… talking of which, outside of citronella candles, fly spray and rolled-up newspapers, any suggestions for getting rid of these pesky things? Wasps too..? I'll be taking notes!

Love Ali xxx


  1. Rhona Fenton August 14, 2009 at 9:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison and I thought it was just scotland that had bad weather we were coming back from a trip out today and it felt like winter and you guessed it we had to come home and put the heating on it was that cold, never seen so much rain and it was so dark all the lights were on, it’s the summer are you having a laugh!!!
    you asked about films we went to see the taking of pelham 123, Denzel washinton and John travolta it was brill well worth going to see, also for a weepy I had to sent for this one as it’s region 1 only DVD based on true story, taking chance, its Kevin Bacon, who’s my heart throb, but if you have a multi region dvd player well worth the watch, hows the birthday plans going come to any ideas yet?
    hope you and colin are enjoying the summer, love Rhona xx

  2. alison keenan August 17, 2009 at 7:16 pm -  Reply

    Exactly the same scenario here with the heating! I have to admit though it’s been glorious for the last couple of days, which was a relief for the wedding I went to on Saturday. Well we were there just for the evening, but it was lovely and warm. Sam went to see The Taking of Pelham 123 and he really enjoyed it too, so I will wait for it to come out on DVD. Like the sound of the Kevin Bacon movie too…will watch out for it. Sue still hasn’t decided what she wants to do for her birthday, but I’ll keep you in touch. Thanks for writing, always lovely to hear from you.
    Love Ali xxx

  3. jay September 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, Good to see you are back,great show this afternoon, hope you had a good holiday and weather better than here. I had a trip to Edinburgh to visit the fringe and the weather was really good, last year it rained the whole time.Regarding your problem with flies and wasps,I’ve been stung three times this year, I don’t like using insectocides in doors so I find hair spray very useful for downing wasps or as you say a rolled-up newspaper.Keep up the excellent presentations.

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