Yesterday afternoon, some of the Cyprus home educators decided to meet on the beach, taking picnics. I went with our friends - Richard joined us later - and was surprised to find how very warm the sea was, given that the weather hasn't yet got REALLY hot, and it's only early June. I walked out into the sea up to waist height and didn't feel at all chilly. I didn't swim; I was wearing my swimsuit but hadn't taken my tee-shirt off, thinking I wouldn't want to go more than ankle deep, but it was very nice to be in the sea again.
Elisabeth spent some time trying to dig in the sand with a selection of small spades, then thought she might like a drink of water:
She is quite determined, but did become somewhat annoyed that she couldn't work out how to get into it by herself:
Helen was there too, but spent a lot of time playing with the other children and digging by the sea. I spent some time showing her how to pack sand in a bucket and the turn it over to make a little castle, which she promptly knocked down. She did sit still for a couple of minutes, though:
Then she was off, running around and playing. The small have so much energy. It was lovely to see how, at two-and-three-quarters, Helen is now starting to play with another friend's daughter Aimee, who is of similar age. At one point they found a "stage" where they stood side by side singing:
The sun starts to go down in Cyprus fairly early, even at this time of year. All the older children had been playing in and out of the sea, coming to eat a bit and then going back into the water. As the light faded, they were still doing so:
Before we ate, I took Elisabeth into the sea to get most of the sand off her, and to wash my own hands (not that sea water is particularly hygienic, but it's better than mixing food with sand). She stayed fairly clean, on one or other of her parents, while she ate some bread and cheese and cucumber, but then decided to get down and explore the beach some more.
A while later, Helen, who had seen me washing her little sister earlier, sidled up to me, pulled a sad face, and said, 'Sue.... Elisabess is dirty again!'
I think she's learning the art of understatement...