A bucket and spade - such a timeless thing isn’t it? Growing up, I was so lucky that we lived within walking distance of the beach and so – as I remember it at least – all our summer holidays were spent either swimming or heads down, digging in the sand. I’m sure it probably did rain sometimes but as far as I can recall those long summers were wall-to-wall sun, sea and sand.
Buying our son a bucket and spade therefore felt like a rite of passage that I was really looking forward to. The ‘big’ purchase was a £1.20 little red bucket with yellow handle and little blue spade. None of the fancy sets you can get these days which include a sieve, some shapes and all kinds of other things. Just a bog-standard bucket and spade from a beach shop in Lyme Regis.
In all honesty, I think it was probably more of a purchase for me than it was for our then 18 month old! However, I had no idea then quite how integral those little bits of plastic would become to his early milestones. They obviously accompany us on every summer beach expedition and every holiday but it was only when I was looking back at some of last year’s photos that I realised quite what value for money we’ve got from them. They have accompanied us on every holiday we’ve been on – made sandcastles in France, and moved the sea one bucket at a time from water’s edge to rockpool in Cornwall. They got to have some winter sun in Lanzarote and then helped make snowmen in the park in March. They’ve carried sand and salt water and fresh water; the bucket has been a hat and a mini, mobile fridge and the spade an ambulance for injured insects.
There was nearly a diplomatic incident in France recently when another family rounded up the bucket with all their kit as they set off home. Fortunately frantic sign language and schoolboy French on my husband’s part managed to avert disaster. That little bucket and spade has put up with a lot & I will be heartbroken the day it finally gives up the ghost. At least we’ve got a load of pictures to provide some happy memories.
Do you have a toy or maybe an item of clothing that has delivered way more than it promised to the lives of your family? I’d love to hear about them over on the Facebook page.