Happy New Year to all – and welcome to my first post of 2019! I’m really excited about the year ahead and about sharing some of my adventures with you as we travel around the sun one more time. I’m quite new to blogging myself and have been inspired by some great writers who I have found over the past year or so; I look forward to following my favourite blogs again this year and to making some new discoveries.
And so it begins. January arrived, dry and bright. I carried on with the ruthless clear-out I started after Christmas, and I even got out into the garden for a bit of a tidy up in preparation for the start of the new growing season. Spending time in the sunshine always makes me feel good, no matter what the time of year.
Today was reasonably mild and the sky a joyous blue, so I decided to make my first seaside outing of 2019.
Formby is a coastal town between Liverpool and Southport in the north-west of England. Its abundance of very rich and celebrity residents (including premiership football players) and luxury properties has resulted in the dubious nicknames Califormbia and Formby Hills. The chances of me recognising (or even having heard of!) a reality TV ‘star’, a current ‘soap’ actor, or a football player are roughly equal to the chances of one of them recognising me. I was really hoping to see some of Formby’s other famous locals, the indigenous red squirrels whose abode is the large area of National Trust pine woodland which stretches out along the Formby coast. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be on this occasion.
Temperatures had dropped overnight and the ground frost sparkled in the sunshine. Sections of felled fir trees had been left on the path.
There are two approaches to Formby beach: the first which is shorter and probably more popular involves a very energetic scramble over a range of steep sand dunes; the second – which I opted for – took me on a longer, beautiful meander through the dunes along a sandy path. The azure sky and the landscape reminded me of long ago Aegean holidays.
Several benches along the walk have been dedicated to the memory of people who loved to spend time here. What a lovely way to be brought to mind each time a loved one or stranger sits for a while to admire the vista.
On top of the dunes, sand mountaineers looked out to sea.
Squawking magpies kept their own lookout from the trees tops.
And apparently it’s never too cold for an ice cream.
The National Trust has laid a long board walk to make the beach accessible for prams, wheelchairs and folks like me who don’t climb dunes.
The entire path from the Lifeboat Road car park down to the beach is navigable for wheels and bad knees. Here, I made some new friends in their stunning hand-knitted jackets.
The board walk ended and the wide beach came into view. The tide was out and the firm sand was perfect for walking. whether on two legs or four.
One of my new colourfully-clad friends insisted we had a long game of throw and fetch the stick. Fortunately, he did all the running!
With my playmate called away to rejoin his family pack, the steps of the lifeboat station served as a convenient bench for me to sit for a while and enjoy my first beach visit of the year… hopefully, the first of many.