It seemed criminal not to take advantage of the glorious sunshine and warmth, so we trooped down to the beach after lunch, (had checked tidal times and the tide would be going out then). We caught a bus into the town centre, then leisurely wandered through town, down the Artists Quarter down to the harbour. Rye asked to be carried so I slung him on my back, amidst gasps of horror from passerbys. I suppose it does look a little hair raising to the average person. I still do the over the shoulder throw, except these days I lift Rye up high onto my shoulder and then he sort of pivots around on my shoulder to slide down my back, all the while I'm holding onto his arm and with my other hand I grabbed his leg as he comes over my should to make sure he's stable and centered on my back.
Next time I go down the beach I'll take some photos of the Artist Quarter, it really is lovely, very smart these days. It's the old highstreet; a very steep, narrow cobbled lane. It had become rather run down and shabby but there's been grants and what not to improve the area. There's lovely little cafes and sandwich bars, studios showing off local artists work, and if you go in you can watch them painting, or creating mosiacs, sculptures etc. A gorgeous looking chocolate shop, which I walk by quickly so I don't sucuumb. I nearly always giggle at the cafe nearly at the bottom of the lane called "Van Scoffs". It's lovely walking down the lane, many of the artists and shop keepers wave as you walk by and Rye is fascinated with the various peices of artwork and, handily, it brings you out right next to the harbour. Simply cross the road, walk along the harbour wall and it brings you out at Folkestone's Sunny Sands.
No sooner had I flapped out my beach mat to sit on, and a little girl ran over and asked if she could play with Rye. They built sand castles, then Rye asked for the bubbles and the little girl asked if she could blow them. Before long many of the toddlers on the beach were chasing bubbles along and all the adults were watching with indulgent smiles on their faces. Then we wandered down to the sea. Rye was a little unsure at first, but then the little girl joined us and that was it, he was jumping, splashing, laughing and gigling and it was all I could do to get him to come back up the beach with me and eat our picnic.
We played frisbee, Rye nearly took a man's nose off and I spent quite a bit of time ducking and telling him to throw the frisbee where no one was sat. Definitely a toy for when the beach isn't too busy, (most people started to pack up and leave around 3pm). Rye's new friend left with her family around 3pm, so then Rye wanted me to build him lots of sandcastles to jump on.
"Just two sandcastles," he'd tell me. So I'd make two, and then he'd say, "Just three sandcastles," lol. Then we played in the sea again, and Rye splashed and jumped and got me very wet. Then we dried off and warmed up again. Build more sand castles and sand crabs, fishes and turtles. Then it got to 5pm and it was time to leave. Rye back in the mei tai and a leisurely walk to the bus stop and home, stopping by the chippy for some chips for tea.
Here's a selection of the photos I took: