Recently we have had a high tide around the UK and also a storm surge. This has left destruction in its wake. So it was time to go and see what had happened in my loved home town.
The warnings were out that a high tide of 9.52 meters was coming in, normally no problem as the sea front has a marine wall around it and then a road before any houses. However on this occasion there were also gale force winds coming with the tide and we knew it was going to be dangerous.
Another town more exposed to the full force of the sea was to be even harder affected with 50 foot high waves and flooding of a whole shopping and cinema complex.
Yet West Kirby is from Viking times and with its Victorian promenade it withstood many a high wind and high tide until now!
A visit a few days later showed me the damage that had happened.
The pavements were torn up. Benches were cast aside and sent off into the unknown torrent of water that then caused more damage. The disabled sailing clubs door was smashed down and the contents looted by the sea.
Where the once upon a time open air Victorian swimming baths stood, the walls have been ripped away leaving a gaping scar of a view that should never be seen, but now exposed and bare, you can see the yachts practicing for their next competition.
All was not lost, it was now a beautiful day and damage limitation had started with walls being re-built and people out helping to restore some order to gardens.
West Kirby does attract everyone out for a walk and today had turned into a beautiful day, still with a high tide and still with a strong wind, but people came out to play.
I caught this guy and his dog having a great time and I’m not sure who enjoyed the play and photo session the most, me, the dog or the proud owner.
It reminded me that no matter what is going on around you, there is a choice to be made between feeling down or feeling happy. A dog with its simple pleasures does not have to make that choice, it can just have fun. I was inspired by this thought when a friend posted pictures of her and her Husband going to Chester Zoo for the day. No kids involved, just 2 adults having a fun, kiddy, day out and I guess that we all need to remember the power of fun when facing something hard in our lives.
West Kirby was trying to do the same, dogs on the beach, walkers and of course the wind surfers were out in force.
The views from around the marine lake wall were lovely and even the biting wind could not stop me from pausing and enjoying and pressing that camera button over and over again.
I’d been feeling a bit low with my health but being out in the weak sun, the cold wind and the stinging sea spray, I began to feel better again, stronger, more complete again.
Evening was rolling in and so were the waves, giving the windsurfers even more of a chance to have fun out at sea.
Yet still West Kirby was casting its charm over me as I saw the sun setting behind the Welsh Mountains. Now at nearly the shortest day of the year it falls far along the skyline, during the summer the sunset is out at sea!
I had not realised just how much I needed a day outdoors, just watching people enjoy themselves. I’d been indoors too much as i was starting to get head pain again. My legs were getting sore and the mornings were painful again as my bones creaked and ached on contact with the hard floor.
The day was drawing in at only 3.30pm, but still so much to see.
A short drive took me to Heswall shore, a place full of old smugglers tales and if you believe in them a lot of ghosts too. A headless dog is supposed to roam, or at the Beacons you will be haunted by a large black hound or even on the shore line where the ghosts of two mariners, who had fought each other to the death over smuggled goods, haunt a path!Probably the path I walked on……
Nowadays there is a beautiful restaurant on the site that gives you full view of the spectacular sunsets. Boats rest on the silted sands waiting for freedom on the next high tide and today there were signs of their struggle against the recent high tide with a few splintered hulls to be seen and driftwood ready for collection piled up by the shore line.
Sunsets are something I really miss and so catching one through the trees and on the shore was a moment of pure pleasure for me.
Time to be grateful for this time, these sights and these moments of pleasure and laughter shared. Time to remember that the pain tells me I am alive and able to move around, that I can and will feel whole and well again. Time to repair me.
Thank you, wonderful world.