Another winter Sunday hoved into view and it was with some surprise from both colleagues and children that we headed off to the tropical climes of Burton Bradstock beach near Bridport in Dorset.
I think it was Sir Frederick Treves who declared that there surely can be nothing more bracing and more life affirming than heaving in the sea air on a Sunday afternoon; and bracing was what we were anticipating. But 'wait, what's this' we cried as we jumped off the bouncing, bumping minibuses; no obligatory force 8 gale? No piercing sand blasting across the plain? The sea was as flat as a pancake and not a breath of wind was to be felt. The assembled masses of Michelin men lookalikes who had wrapped up so extensively back at school were now peeling off the layers as though we were back in June! Even our resident antipodean, Mr Keddie got in on the act, claiming he wanted to go for a swim. Thankfully Bondi beach it was not!
With that, serious beach operations commenced; cricket, touch rugby, stone skimming, boules, filling buckets with water, making dams, making river channels, standing on buckets in the surf!, trying to avoid the on rushing surf were some of the many activities that got under way. But perhaps the hit of the day was Mr Kenny's beach art competition which virtually everyone took part in and lasted for the whole afternoon. There were some quite stunning creations, giant whales made of stone, balancing towers, Stonehenge replicas it was a veritable feast for the imagination. First prize was awarded to Gabby, James B, Jack F and Marcus for their beautiful whale. The afternoon continued with the consuming of homemade sandwiches made by the children's own fair hands. Tuna mayo and sweetcorn proved to be the most popular filling. After the lunch a few children enjoyed helping gather sticks and then watching Mr Robertson cough and splutter over his Ghillie Kettle which did eventually provide some lovely boiling hot water for a cuppa or two. Beach games continued apace before we gathered for a mass game of rounders well marshalled by Miss Rudd and Mr Holden followed by probably the best hot chocolate this side of.......well anywhere quite frankly. Henry (our soon to be departed chef), even put in extra marshmallows to go on the top! What a hero, we will surely miss him with these treats like these!
A few minutes later we were back on the buses with soggy socks on our feet and singing silly songs up the track back to Hazlegrove. The children were an absolute credit to the school and their parents. It was a joy to spend time with them and see them unwind as they should, in a really relaxed environment. Well done to all, a thoroughly good nights sleep will be had by all.
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