Today the weather was gorgeous. In fact, I think it was warmer up here in Caithness than in most of the rest of the country! So this afternoon I took advantage and followed the example of Lucy at Attic 24 and went for a trip down to the beach.
Unlike Lucy, I really have no excuse for finding the time to visit the seaside, as I live less than a mile away! So I parked in the town and after a quick visit to the bank, set off down to the beach.
Thurso is a lovely town - we are very fortunate to still have a lot of little independent shops here. It has real character and plenty of useful stores where you can get what you need.
This is one of my favourite gift shops in the town - there's lots of lovely bits and pieces in here. The sun was so bright at this point that I found it very hard to take a picture!
Then on down the road for my first glimpse of the sea. What wonderful colours!
It was lovely and quiet at the beach.
The beach is a mix of sand and stones. The stones are wonderful, a lovely palette of colours and different shapes, all sharing the same characteristic flat surfaces. Very nice to walk on, and to look at.
(Incidentally, I had initially uploaded this picture the wrong way up. How can you possibly tell? I hear you ask. I honestly don't know! But it looked "wrong" the other way up and "right" this way up. Logic tells me it must be something to do with the shadows but I can't see how!)
The other lovely thing about the stones is that, being flat, they make great towers:
I can never resist leaving at least one or two behind when I leave. It's the child in me.
After sitting and enjoying the sun, the sounds of the gently breaking waves, the birdsong, and the rather stiff breeze, I settled down with my ipod set to Radio 3 with the sound turned down low (so I could still hear all the above!).
(and yes, for the eagle-eyed amongst you, that is the battery indicator right down to the red, and yet it happily lasted right up until I left the beach!).
I then got out my sketchbook and did a rapid sketch of the cliffs looking towards Scrabster. The breeze was really getting up by the time I finished so I had to hold the paper still whilst I took the picture!
I was struck by the number of straight lines in the view, and decided to concentrate on emphasising those. A very rough sketch, but very pleasing to carry out. (Though next time I might take something to sit on as I was rather cold and numb round the rear end by the time I finished!). Sadly, the picture I took of the actual view I was sketching didn't come out very well, so you'll just have to take my word for it that it's a very accurate drawing ;-)
I was very tempted on the way back to town to have an ice-cream from the seafront cafe:
But I resisted. Maybe another day.