The period leading up to Christmas always seems to me to be a stormy time, both in terms of mental stress and certainly this year weather wise. I seemed to spend hours looking for suitable presents, the right gift, the right size, colour texture and oh will they like it? You have to decide which day to do the supermarket shop, in order to as far as possible, avoid the worst crowds and longest queues at the checkouts. You end up spending a small fortune for at most two days meals and this year the shops are open again on Boxing Day. Thank goodness for Sunday shopping, I can remember the extra pressure it placed on everyone’s timetable when you could not shop on a Sunday and stores did not open all night. At least this year, the queues were not stretching from every till to the middle of the shop.
The weather this year has also been particularly stormy and I lost my television service when the rooftop aerial succumbed to the south westerly gale on Wednesday last week. I thought I had booked an aerial company to come and sort the problem, but following repeated failures to meet appointments and many phone calls to several different companies, I gave up on external help and resorted to the old maxim – if you want something doing, do it yourself. Luckily, I live in a bungalow and have a flat roof on the dormer extension so it is possible to access the chimney and the aerial mount fairly easily. A new mast was all that was needed and after re-attaching the aerials to the new mast it proved to be a fairly simple operation to re-fit to the chimney bracket which was still intact. Job done, service restored, disaster averted and money saved.
Christmas Day was calm and bright and today dawned very frosty but sunny and you could not hear the wind. Peace reigned. The garden birds had been fed, breakfast eaten and the house restored to some semblance of order; the traditional Boxing Day walk was calling. After a short discussion, the housemate and I plumped for Saltburn-on-Sea and a walk on the sand. It is only a twenty minute ride in the car and we managed to park with no problem on the clifftop road.
Once out of the car and across the promenade to look down on the beach, one could see that Boxing Day is indeed the traditional day for a brisk walk following the, in my case anyway, excessive consumption on Christmas Day.
There were more people on the beach than on most days during the summer. This appeared to be the dedicated dogwalker section, with almost as many dogs as people. (I’m afraid my photography skills do not stretch to the length of the beach.)
Families were very much in evidence and even a game of beach cricket in action –
Please note the sunshine in the background, the sun just on its last legs peeping through the gap in the hills, even though it was only about 3pm. Unfortunately, Saltburn faces north and only really catches the sun in the middle of the day.
The pier had re-opened following the damaging storms and tidal surge of early December.
The pier was full of promenaders most of whom like me, were busy practising with their new cameras or camera phones.
Indeed I managed to snap this little bird having a rest on one of the pier supports and thinking, what are you looking at?
I managed to climb the steps back up to the cliff top and got this, one of the most photographed sites in Saltburn on the way back to the car
The water balanced cliff lift was opened about 1884 and is probably the oldest of it’s type still in operation; unfortunately, only in the summer months, so the cars are parked midway.
So that was the lull between storms. As I write this I can hear the noise of the wind increasing as it blows through the surrounding trees with the onset of the next storm which is due to blow hard for the next 12 hours or so. I always find strong winds very disturbing as you wonder what may blow down next in their unpredictable gusts.