Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Braving icy weather and blue bottles

I think Mo and I are realising that we won't be spending the weekends/ holidays during the upcoming winter season holed up indoors, slowly sipping hot cocoa and watching action movies/comedies. After one hour indoors we would already have refereed six arguments (which might or might not have turned physical) and meted out punishment so often that it would be impossible to keep track of.

This became evident on Easter Monday. So, instead of subjecting ourselves to that torture, we decided to spend the freezing day outside at the beach. I know - the beach would not ordinarily be the first place one thinks of visiting in icy winter, but I try to avoid malls as much as possible. I really prefer to pile on layers of clothes and have them run around outside - snot frozen to their faces - than to have them walk around mindlessly - hypnotised by the bright lights - in a mall.

So off we headed to Hout Bay. We decided to have lunch at Snoekies. But so did the rest of Cape Town, it seemed. After waiting for our food for what seemed like forever (not because of poor service, but because of the mass of like-minded people who had descended upon the place), we headed off to the beach to enjoy our meals in the car.

The tide was low - revealing all the sea life which the previous high tide had spat up onto the shore. Among the masses of sea weed, numerous blue bottles could be found. I'd been stung by these buggers numerous times during my childhood, so I was on the alert all the time to ensure that the kids stayed far from them.

After satisfying their hunger the kids leaped out of the car to search for the best place (meaning - far away from the scary dogs) to build their sandcastle. The spot they chose was up on a tiny hill about 14 meters from the water's edge.

Because their sandcastle required the use of wet sand as well, the kids trekked to and from the water's edge carrying handsful of sand. Not the best place to build a castle, but at least they felt safe from scary dogs and I felt safe from blue bottles (although the previous high tide had washed some about 12 meters onto the shore).

Shakeel (12) on one of his journeys from the water's edge to collect wet sand for the castle

Since the kids had taken off their shoes, their protective resourceful dad cleared and marked a path for them, removing all blue bottles from within its area. Whenever a wave brought in more blue bottles, he made sure that he cleared these from the path of his little builders.

Mo clearing a blue bottle -free path for the kids

Nuha (7) hard at work, while Tharaa (10) takes a well-deserved break

Shakeel (12) and Nuha (7) collecting wet sand from the water's edge for their castle

Me- too cold to move

Bossy-boots Aisha (2) probably barking orders at her sisters

 A freezing day at the beach- will definitely do it again!

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