Thursday, January 1, 2009


Here I am, in my little shack by the sea, on the very first morning of 2009. This photograph is proof that Mr. Commentbox finally made it down to the beach. He was my shack butler - bringing me refreshments, handing me my towel, checking for bluebottles and for any passing joggers who may want to chat me up (thanks Alice, your comment was spot on...hehe).

KMKAT requested that her sandcastle be, in fact, MY sandcastle. Her exact words were "a little sandcastle retreat", which was really very selfless of her, don't you think? I took her request very seriously, immediately requesting that my friends and family now refer to my beach shack as "The Castle", and to me as the Queen of the Castle.

At the entrance to The Castle I built myself this little darling sandcake, and I requested that all of the visitors to The Castle serenade me with birthday songs upon their arrival at MY beach.

But I am a benevolent Queen, and I did not forget my sandcastling responsibilities.

So here, for your enjoyment, is Anna's beautiful sandcastle, as per her request -

"A star of sand and shells and an unexpected item."

Then I went for a little swim, and read a bit (Agatha Christie today), and thought about KMKAT and how unfair it seemed that she didn't have her very own sandcastle. I sat up and picked up my straw basket so as to rummage through it in the hope of finding inspiration, when what did I see? The basket had left a lovely print in the sand, and it looked remarkably like the pattern of a knitted sweater or a scarf of some sort.

Just as I had finished photographing this sandknitted delight, the phone rang. Yes, I do sometimes bring my phone to the shack, and today I was expecting one or two calls....I pick up the phone and I hear a voice which I haven't heard in many years.
It was my dear dear friend S from the US. I sat in my shack beside the glorious beach and was suddenly transported back to 1991, a snowy day in Providence RI, a newborn Miss Commentbox, an extraordinarily young Eleanor, and a "Mothers' Group" organised by the local Community Centre. There was S, standing in front of me, carrying her baby boy (I spoke to him too on the phone, his voice has definitely deepened since then) and smiling at me. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship and much shared happiness.
So what did I do? Of course, I made the beautiful S a sandcastle of her own:

HAPPY NEW YEAR everybody.
I had a fabulous time with all of you in 2008, and I look forward to continuing laughter and friendship in 2009.


trash said...

and a very happy 2009 to you oh Queen of the realm of sandshack!

alice c said...

Happy Birthday! May your sand shimmer and your shack shelter and your butler bring good things. May happiness shower upon you O Eleanor - most generous of all blogistas.

Duyvken said...

Happy birthday Eleanor!

blackbird said...

You are terrifically generous with your castles!

Happy Birthday to you, Queen of the Castle.

Badger said...

Happy New Year and a very Happy Birthday to you, Eleanor! Mazel Tov!

Sömsmånen said...

Happy birthday, Eleanor!
It's almost not possible to grasp that on the other side of the globe you made a sand castle for me. I realize I often come back to this "oh-it's-amazing-"feeling, but I think it really is. Amazing. You are, too.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, a sandknitted castle for me?! Schweeeet! I smiled and chortled all the way through this post. Thank you! Enjoy your birthday (how did I miss that it was your birthday?) and many, many more!

Mary said...

You truly are our Queen of the Castle....


Anonymous said...

Dearest Eleanor, my stranger/friend
you have brought me such joy all year long, I hope your day was every bit as wonderful as you are!!


Esti said...

I've also had a fabolous time in 2008. It's been nice to blogmeet you, for instance.
Happy Birthday and Happy new yearto you too!!

Anonymous said...

When I woke up this morning I had sand in my sox. Seriously.
I know - it's another embarrassing reality of early middle age that women's extremities often suffer from frostbite due to increasingly poor circulation, but that's not the point! The point is that I had sand in my sox and a sandcastle on the beach ten million feet away. It's a sign. I know.
Thank you for my glorious and curvaceous (yes, that too) S of scrumptious sand castles, dear Eleanor.

That One said...

Dear Queen Eleanor,
I MISSED your birthday entirely! Take a day or two off from blogland and you miss ALL the great events!

I hope your day was happy!

Maria said...

Happy new year Eleanor!
A little strange to see pictures from the beach when the weather at my place is so cold and icy. You live on the other side of the earth...

KPB said...

You know, it's taken until now for me to think why on EARTH didn't I load the allconsuming crew into the car and come and hang out in the shak one day. Idjiot.