Today started off rather grey, but the weather forecast promised that it would brighten up. Now, I’m always one to believe the weather forecast 100%, especially Carol Kirkwood and the BBC. So off the kids and I went on a little outing. We were going to end up at the beach, but to break the drive up, and be nosey we stopped off at Petworth House and Park to have a look round, and have our picnic lunch before we continued on our journey. We left home just before 10am and it was only just over an hours drive to Petworth. When we arrived it was still quite empty, I think the weather played a part in that. We firstly wandered round part of the gardens before going into the house to have a look around. We have been here before, about a year ago and with my sister, but it’s always good to come back again. And it’s National Trust, so we can get in for free!! There weren’t many rooms open because they spend various days cleaning, but we got to look at all the statues all with varying amounts of clothing on. Some were practically naked. A lovely man told us about all sorts of statues and how old some of them were. One male statue had lost his head and they found a female head to put on it instead. It look liked the Statue of Liberty head (or Annette Bening if you prefer). As we approached another of the statues the man asked, “Now what do you notice about this statue?” Well George being George said “He’s lost his penis!!” It took all my concentration to not laugh. “I’m very sorry,” I said to the man. He wasn’t embarrassed at all. He also showed us a head and shoulders of Aphrodite which is nearly 2,000 years old!! George then found the children’s costumes and tried on various items, including a beautiful white dress (I took a photo, but will keep that one in the family, sorry). All the costumes related to various paintings on the room and the guide let George pose near the appropriate pictures or statues.
I would like to thank the guide who was amazing, I don’t know his name, but he was about 65 ish. I’m sure he’ll remember George…who could forget really. We then went to the kitchen area and saw various rooms where you’d prepare or store food. Even Emily got engrossed with the dressing up at this point. I’m not sure how they would have survived in the kitchen at the time, but it makes them appreciate an electric oven.
Once we’d finished looking round the house we popped back to the car to get our lunch and then found a beautiful secret spot in the gardens to sit down and eat. The gardens are so vast that no one walked past us as we ate. Just before we left we went ot the shop and got some sweets for the journey to the beach and some fudge for Mark. We then got back in the car and headed for the beach. We used to go to West Beach in Littlehampton, but a couple of years ago my friend Sally mentioned about going to West Wittering Beach. Well it’s brilliant! The parking is so much better, it cost £6.50 for the whole day, but is about a minutes walk to the beach. It’s totally sandy, they have numerous loos (very important), and a shop to buy an ice cream (again very important). It’s a bit more of a drive for us, about another 10 miles, but it’s not a problem. We got to the beach around 2pm, and between the 3 of us we managed to carry all we needed. It was rather windy, but not cold. A jumper was needed but apart from that it was perfect. The tide was coming in, but very slowly. We soon found a sheltered spot, where Emily and I read and George dug a hole. Later George put on his trunks and went in the sea, which was rather cold.
It was lovely to sit and relax and soak up the sounds and smells of the beach. The kids went and got an ice cream each at around 4pm and after a bit more relaxing we packed everything up in the car, visited the very clean toilets and then left around 5pm to head home. It would take about an hour and a half to get home, depending on the traffic which wasn’t that bad to be honest, so I decided that dinner would be fish and chips. Well we’d been to the beach and if you’ve been to the beach all day, then you have to have fish and chips. What a lovely day we had. Next time we go to the beach we must do it at a weekend then Mark can come to.