Beach Blanket Boxing Day

Reading time 5 minutes


It has been a long time since Him Indoors and I spent Christmas at our seaside house, but it is good to be back this year. The coast in winter has very special appeal: in good weather the chalk cliffs sparkle like freshly painted walls and the low sun creates dramatic patterns in the sand where dogs, adults and children leave their footprints. In squally weather it is comforting to stay inside and toast oneself by the fire, or to wrap up warm and watch the waves breaking over the harbour arm. Windy days are brilliant for flying kites and blowing the cobwebs away, whilst calm days are perfect for paddling and sitting outside a cafe with a mug of hot chocolate. Generally there are fewer people and cars than in summer and more dogs and human kindness.



Boxing Day dawned clear, bright, still and mild; a perfect day for walking. It appears that most of the town felt the same, setting forth in the lightest of winter attire. There were a few brave men in shorts and an even hardier family braving the sea without wet suits. The admiration from onlookers was enough to warm their cockles as they emerged from the opaque water. Broadstairs seafront was thronged with cheerful families, glad to be out in the open and working off their excess calories. And, for the first time in a fortnight, we were blessed with a lie-in. It really did the trick: I’ve felt almost human all day.



Initially it seemed that our traditional Boxing Day walk might be doomed. Martha required carrying after about 200 metres. Once tempted by sand and water she was off into the shallow waves, which promptly broke over the top of her glittery wellies, soaking her pink tights. Martha found this most amusing, repeating her folly ‘again, again!’. After a very public change of clothing we managed to walk most of the way to Ramsgate, stopping off at Dumpton Gap for a mug of tea and a revitalising satsuma.



When not keeping my eye on Martha I was on the look out for Boxing Day blooms. Sadly, these were in short supply. I spied a handful of yellow wallflowers, some rather weary escallonia, and little else. This surprised me given the diversity we normally experience in London on Boxing Day and how mild the weather has been so far this winter. Returning home I noticed just how many plants I’ve left to fend for themselves whilst I’ve concerned myself with the library. Begonias, geraniums, fuchsias and passionflowers are all still fending for themselves outside, each waiting for the day when my optimism is rewarded by a sharp and devastating frost. I took pity on puce-pink Passiflora x violacea ‘Victoria’ and brought her into the garden room for a reviving drink and some gentle warmth.



All-in-all today has been a far more relaxing and enjoyable day than Christmas Day, without the pressure of the main event and motivated by a desire to get out of The Watch House, lovely as it is. As I write we are snuggled up together in the library, Martha and Him Indoors blissfully asleep, me tapping away on the iPad and my sister reading a book with Christmas lights twinkling behind her. A fine and fitting end to our beach blanket Boxing Day.


Categories: Musings, Photography, Weather

Posted by The Frustrated Gardener

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12 comments On "Beach Blanket Boxing Day"

  1. You had a lovely day , Dan. we had a wonderful weather today too. It was +12*C and sunny, now it’s windy and raining, but still warm.Have a great week wating for New Year’s Eve 🙂
    I am lucky as I have a couple of days off until the 2nd of Janurary. Greetings. P.

  2. Oh Dan, your pictures are so beautiful, you are a true artist and the place where you have you house is also very, very beautiful, I guess I prefer it in winter with no summer crowds.
    Your niece is so sparkly, judging from her cheeky smile can be a tonne of energy.

    1. Oh my goodness, energy! From the moment I get out of bed in the morning there is a constant relay of dancing, racing, ‘making”, eating and reading. Her little brain is developing so fast. Most of the time she’s adorable, the rest of the time I give her back to her mummy 😉

  3. Adorable!!!! It is such a beautiful place. Hottest Christmas Day here in 18 years – 38 Degrees! Looks like same ‘warmer’ than ever scenario in UK too ! Have a wonderful break. x

  4. I’m impressed that your fuchsia are still going – the final leaves have fallen off mine.

    Boxing Day was lovely, wasn’t it? Would love to have spent more if it outdoors myself….

  5. Your Boxing Day with the adorable Martha sounds perfect. We spent too much time in the traffic jam on the M40 as too many folk were trying to get to Bicester Village – why on such a glorious day? We were en route to the North Yorks Moors where we have enjoyed the crispiest weather we have seen for ages. Wonderful walks with friends and dogs, hoar frost on grasses and trees, and frozen trails, then back to a roaring fire. Christmas excess all worked off. Happy New Year to you all.

    1. Well done you! It’s going to take me a while to burn off those extra calories, even with Martha’s daily races and dance classes. Enjoy the North York Moors. Now you are there you can forget about all those silly people who prefer Bicester to the great outdoors. Have they not heard of Internet shopping? 😉

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