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Talacre 2009

August 11, 2013

Opening my diary at random the other day I dropped on 2009.  The feeling was one of alighting from a time machine.  Here I was again, back in the summer of that year, at Talacre on the Point of Ayr, North Wales, when Stella and I had a caravan there.

Being able to escape to the van added a whole new dimension to our lives.  We loved our stretch of coast and the Clwydian Range inland.  Following retirement I’d sometimes go for a few days on my own to work on my book, The Petrie Consignment, extracts from which I’ve posted here under ‘Novel’.  Wandering the beach and dunes, birdspotting, my characters came vividly alive before my mind’s-eye as they played out their fateful drama. 

Our grandchildren enjoyed the van too and it was always great having them.

Sadly, circumstances compelled us to sell.  Our goodbye in April 2010 is described in ‘The End of The Dream’, which I posted here on 22/07/12.

The following diary extracts are from occasions during that last summer when I was alone at the van for writing…


MONDAY 18/05/09

11:20am:  Talacre windy and wet.  Arrived last night to the slinky shadow of a fox.  Just back from a walk.  Hardly anyone around.  Amusements closed.  The wafting of crows’ wings as I approached the viewing platform, three of them swooping low over my head, again and again, cawing excitedly, harshly, like something out of ‘The Birds’; it was quite alarming, actually.  Beach deserted except for a yellow-jacketed litter-picker on a dune buggy.  Little terns diving repeatedly into a rivulet beyond the lighthouse – beautiful and so agile, chattery kirri-kirrick voices; they make gulls look big and clumsy!


TUESDAY 19/05/09

10:30pm:  Llanasa this evening, a double-rainbow over the old parish church.  I stood outside the Red Lion with my half of lager, watching house martins zip around the village with dizzying speed.  To the beach later, the lighthouse in silhouette against the sunset.  I half-expected to see the keeper’s ghost…


SATURDAY 29/08/09

11:00am:  More like autumn than late summer at the caravan park with fallen leaves everywhere following yesterday’s storm.

Even after the rain subsided yesterday the wind was incredible with streaming sand knee-deep on the beach, a few figures struggling through it wraith-like in the distance, the thundering tide chocolate brown with steep walls of foam.

Today the beach remains pale and windswept but the sea is green.  Funny when a black labrador pup belonging to a family of eight ran off down the beach heedless of their cries of “Billy, here!  Billy, here!”   An afghan hound jumped on Billy and the pup ran back to the family.

03:00pm:  Kipper fillets for lunch, the first time I’ve had them here and probably the last time too, with disposal of the van sadly inevitable.  They were delicious, though I had to open all the windows and doors afterwards, of course, and they are rather repeating on me now.

Enjoying ‘Navigation’, a poetry collection by Jo Bell, the 2007 Cheshire Poet Laureate, who lives on a narrow boat.

I shall be taking home a pair of old posters advertising pies and puddings.  They were in the window of a local chippy until recently and I was fortunate enough to recover them from the kindly lady proprietor before being disposed of.  The posters are in the form of black and white photos depicting period scenes and are very atmospheric.  Framed, I will hang them on my study walls as mementos of Talacre.



Copyright © Paul Beech 2013

From → Diary

  1. Angela permalink

    Maybe one day you will return to a new van and continue your adventures at Talacre

  2. Thanks, Angela. We’d love another van someday, so maybe we will. In the meantime we’re going to give camping a bash. We’re going to Red Wharf Bay with the family for our first time under canvas and I’ll let you know how we get on.

    Paul xx

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