As today was my birthday, as well as New Year’s Day, we spent it on the beach at Scarborough – in the North Bay, to be precise. Scarborough encompasses a north and south bay, with a prominent headland with a castle on top in between. The south bay is full of amusements, rock, candy floss and fish and chip shops; the north bay is a peaceful retreat from commercialism. In the south bay you take one step from the pavement onto the sand, and in large parts of the north bay you head down several flights of stone steps, usually with big puddles of seawater at the bottom.


But we made it safely through the puddle. Here’s a scattered family shot: firstborn son and girlfriend are on the far left; baby brother (Mattie Mumpo), nephew, Mattie’s fiancee, third-and-final-son, and Sister-In-Law in the  middle; m’husband and son-in-the-middle somewhere in the cluster on the right. Big Little Brother (Jimbob) is busily catching up on his sleep in his camper van. There’s the castle, and a row of hotels, up on the cliffs behind them.


Each family brought a dog: we had Sparky, Mattie Mumpo had Pippa (both above with firstborn) and SIL brought Willie, who kept wandering off in search of interesting smells. We also kept collecting other people’s dogs, such as this water-loving Springer spaniel.


A close eye (and guiding hand) had to be kept on nephew at all times, due to his tendency to spot the sea and run straight into it, roaring with excitement.


Although, when sufficiently distracted, he was fascinated by the sand and kept digging his hand into it before presenting everyone with small handfuls.




Scuffles at the water’s edge, as Baby Brother tries to force Firstborn into the water. Neither had brought wellies.


More scuffles, as third-and-final-son and SIL wrestle with nephew to keep him out of the wavelets.


Firstborn (“I don’t wear wellies”) tries to keep up with his girlfriend, who had happily borrowed a pair so she could paddle.


This hardy soul got around the ‘no welly’ problem by stripping off his shoes and socks. I didn’t see anyone else joining him though. It wasn’t particularly cold, but neither was it warm enough to want to expose any more skin than you had to!


Nephew tries to work out how to throw Sparky’s ball. Sparky ran after this ball for about two hours. Then she collapsed into the car in exhaustion, and we didn’t hear a sound from her all the way home.


Baby brother relives his childhood with a game of king of the castle on some slippery rocks.

After a lovely walk, where the sun very nearly broke through the cloud cover (you could see blue sky if you looked hard enough) all of us plus dogs squeezed into the camper van for spaghetti bolognese, hot dogs and birthday cake.


My brothers were supposed to be making it (I always make one for them) but despite Mattie Mumpo’s claims I strongly suspect his fiancee (above, with third-and-final-son) had done the deed.


Jimbob looking a bit grumpy. I think this was before his nap, however I don’t think a little snooze made him any less grumpy. At times it seemed to have made him even more so as he said we came back too soon. However, to give him his due he was working until the early hours of this morning, and yet he still came on my birthday trip with camper van, wife, son, dog and wife’s delicious spag bol, so I’m very grateful.

Happy New Year, everyone!