Sun-Shopping-Sand-Smiles! (by Daffy Down Dilly)
The Sun was up and waiting for us, likewise the coach! Ahead of schedule at the three pick up points,we sped merrily on our way to the first planned stop of the day-Burnham Market-where the famous Hoste Arms was ready to serve their well known Brunch ( again ahead of schedule!) Eagerly awaited, advantage was taken of the extensive menu – full English and Eggs Benedict being the favourites.
Off to the unique shops where purchases from a Hedgehog House to a wedding hat from the ‘Hat Shop’ were made and,with the sun still shining from a cloudless blue sky we were off to the ‘sands ‘of Wells, which did not disappoint!
Based at ‘Samphire Retreat’ a fully equipped beach hut – the beach chairs were strategically placed on the sand to capture the sun and good conversation – the more intrepid Hatters changed into cozzies and bikinis and made their way off to the sea on the far distant horizon, leaving others to chat, read, sunbathe and even doze!
Ever inventive Queen Tess devised spacehopper racing in heats much to the amusement of those around us! Afternoon tea was served in bone china cups ad saucers (only Rutland ladies could do this!) was accompanied by cupcakes decorated with ‘Red Hats’ by the Queen herself. Our young neighbours joined us and later rewarded us by taking Donna and Molly into town to collect our fish and chips. The sun, sea and sand proving too much of an attraction for anyone to venture into town.
The last few remaining minutes were spent watching the rapidly incoming tide, as our beach hut was closed up, chairs folded and back to the waiting coach.
Hovering in the western sky, the sun seemed as reluctant as we were to leave Wells, but the smiles continued as we sang our way home arriving ahead of schedule!
Thanks to Queen Tess, whenever we think back to the glorious day in Wells a Smile will come to our faces!
Daffy Down Dilly and the Red Hatters on the coach.
My First Hoot ( by Lady Diana Von Tease)
As an almost Red Hat virgin, I was a little nervous about spending a day in Wells Next the Sea as I didn’t really know anyone, but from the moment I met the other Uppingham Hatters at the bus stop, I felt very welcome and had a great day.One the many highlights was seeing the brief look of horror from some of the guests at the posh Hoste Arms as they thought a hen party had descended on them! This soon turned to friendly curiosity and the hotel did us proud with a lovely brunch. I think the hat shop in Burnham Market probably is the best in the world and thanks to the helpful flattery of some other Hatters I bought a proper posh hat for my son’s wedding — black and white, not red!
Looking back down the slope as we walked up to the beach I thought how lovely all the ladies looked in their red and purple. We set up camp in front of our very well appointed beach hut and apart from a brief burst of frisbee throwing (and dropping!) all intentions of being more purposeful and active faded as I basked in glorious sunshine, chatting, laughing, sandcastle watching and being served tea on the beach in delicate china cups and saucers! Other more energetic Hatters swam, flew kites, and bounced on space hoppers for our entertainment and amusement!
It was a shame to have to leave but we had a rousing sing song on the way home. I was in awe of Queen Tess and her organisational skills, attention to detail and hard work.
A big thank you to her, to Molly and the other helpers and all the other lovely Hatters who made me feel so welcome and contributed to such a memorable day.
My favourite moment (of many) was: the kindness of the young couple in the next door beach hut who not only put up with our ‘invasion’ with good humour and interest but then offered to go into town to pick up our fish and chips.The resulting very complex “List”of orders was reminiscent of the classic Dad’s Army sketch when they order fish and chips for their German prisoners!
My favourite moment was Lady Punch and Belladonna’s space hopper race. There they were, on the start line in the sand. Ready steady go! Off they set with a simultaneous shuffle forward, then a slightly more brave attempt at a bounce. At which point, and at exactly the same moment, Belladonna fell dramatically backwards with her legs in the air, purple tiered skirt billowing upwards, and Lady Punch fell forwards, flat on her face spread-eagled in the sand. I almost wet myself laughing as did most of the onlookers on the beach. Memories are made of this…
Unfortunately we were all laughing too much to get a photo of them moment, but here’s some of the rest of us having a bounce.
In this photo, Little Miss Do a Lot and Lady Tra la la demonstrate the space hopper technique, but clearly it was to no avail.
Lady Geri Hattrick My favourite moment came at The Hoste in Burnham Market – the eye-bulging, jaw-dropping expressions on the faces of the other customers as our party entered, and the hesitant question “er… were we a wedding party?” I was tempted to reply, “no, we are members of the Sorority of Retired Lap Dancers”, just to see their eyes bulge even more
Countess Quilter – There was a moment when we were stuck for words – when a Burnham resident asked if we were a stag party. Less like stags is difficult to imagine. Perhaps photo could be re-titled “Stags at Bay”
Prof Carol Crimson Cap – My favourite moment was …All of it! Especially the fish and chips, in the sunshine on the beach.
Mo Marchesa di Morcott – My favourite moment was watching the young man with what appeared to be Obsessive Compulsive Disorder making his square fort with a shovel which he had brought from home for the purpose! I was dying for his tiny child to jump on it….but sadly he wasn’t allowed to! Lynda bravely went and asked him if he was an Engineer by profession… but he admitted to being a Mathematician!! ….figures!
Here are Lady Tra La La’s random musings on a splendid day out with marvellous companions.Racing madly to catch the frisbee
Enjoying fish and chips in the sunshine
Drinking tea from dainty china cupsHoste Arms hospitality
Amazement on faces of passers-by
Tessa ‘helping’ Molly into the sea
Sand between the toesRegal cupcakes
Orange space hopper laughs
Collapsing deckchair capers
Kindness of strangers