Well Worth The Effort

Regular readers may have noticed that it is some months since we enjoyed a brunch at The Beach Hut Café on the promenade at Friars Cliff. That is because I have been unable to make the trip down from the clifftop car park.

The first stage, from the car park, is reasonably level, but far enough for me at the moment.

Military communication satellite station plaque

The concrete rings have featured before. This plate explaining their purpose

is screwed to the rock to the right of this path bypassing the rings. The cyclist will slalom round the barriers down

the sloping footpath leading to the beach huts,

and the beach with its clear view of the Isle of Wight and The Needles.

The most difficult part of the descent for me was this very steep incline.

When I ran the fells in Cumbria I would much rather run up than down the slopes. And that was when my knees worked.

Having reached the promenade there is a straight, flat, section between the huts and the benches sited for those who wish to watch the waves;

taking us to the café, which was, as usual, full to bursting both inside and out, although the demography of the patrons is somewhat different from that in the school holidays. In fact, while Jackie joined the lengthy queue for service and I investigated the seating options, the only available possibility was sharing a picnic table with a friendly woman and her unobtrusive dog. Noticing my rather hopeless efforts at jackknifing myself into position, the kind lady offered to seek out a chair for me. She did so. I thanked her and sat down. Jackie then arrived to tell me that there was a free table inside. I thanked my new friend once more and took up a place inside. Shame, really.

The food was definitely well worth the effort. I couldn’t fit my plate containing two rounds of toast and marmalade into the shot.

After this, we had to retrace our steps. The rather bent elderly woman towing her shorn dulux dog kept up a pace neither of us had any hope of emulating.

Jackie had no trouble with the steep slope

but avoided the steps which were my preferred return route.

Our central heating has never really worked upstairs. Knowing weather was about to cool down, we asked Ronan of Tom Sutton Heating to sort out the radiators. He fixed a pressure problem and bled the radiators. A date was arranged for him to fit a new vent to one of them. The next day the boiler stopped working. Fortunately our shower is electric and we have an open fire and a kettle. We limped through until today when Ronan made an emergency visit. I won’t bore people with the technicalities, but we need a whole new system, which is what I expected in the first place. This will take 3/4 days, need bedroom floors taken up, and be expensive.
This evening we dined variously. Jackie chose Tesco’s pulled ham with mashed potato and carrots accompanied by Hoegaarden; my Tesco’s prepared dish was chicken jalfrezi; Elizabeth enjoyed the last of Jackie’s beef pie. My sister and I both drank more of the Pinot Noir.


  1. How wonderful that you can now do this walk to the café! That is quite a meal–I guess it’s good you got your exercise, too. 🙂 It looks like a lovely day.

  2. The photo of the bent old lady with her bent old dog is rather priceless Derrick 🙂 I had a ‘Dulux’ dog back in the 80’s she was a hoot! I’m in full sympathy with the going down even slight slopes with a wonky knee. The fall I took almost a year ago has left me with a right knee that doesn’t quite work properly and ‘going down’ has to be done carefully. ‘Going up’ however is still pretty easy, its odd isn’t it.

    1. I’m with you both on the preference of up over down. I’m much rather run or hike UP a hill. When I go down, there’s too much force (what with gravity and all). Up feels gentler.

      1. Cricket, too Derrick? Not sure I ever heard that.
        Pauline- you’re funny ” I expect by the time I’m 95 to be fully fit again.”

      1. It’s not too bad Derrick – it’s just that I know I have a knee, especially when going down hill – it’s slowly improving and I expect by the time I’m 95 to be fully fit again 🙂

  3. Ugh – heater problems. That stinks. Good for you for getting that hike to your breakfast in! More progress!

  4. A beautiful land and seascape indeed. But the picture that gave me pause was the plate of food… OMG, when a picture can make one hungry then you know it has to be truly good! And it wasn’t even your plate!
    What an enjoyable post: entertaining and historical.
    Thanks for sharing Derrick. 🙂

  5. Being a homeowner can sure put a strain on the wallet, can’t it? Wow! A meal for a king! What a gorgeous day to be out and about with your camera. Thanks for sharing, Derrick!

  6. So happy you got to take this walk! Thank you for taking us with you via your beautiful photographs!
    The photo of the little lady and her dulex dog is sweet! They are keeping the same pace! My little Cooper (with his short legs) keeps pace with me on walks, but I had a big lab dog named Beau, years ago, that instead of me taking him for a walk, he took me for a walk! I had to teach him to slow down. 🙂
    Your meals look yummy! 🙂
    Yikes on the repairs! 🙁 Hope the fix goes smoothly.
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  7. I am having the hardest time commenting. I have to sign in to each blog that I’ve read and then your blog rejected me more than once. I hope this comment comes through. Glad you could get back to this spot and have such a nice breakfast! Going down is definitely worse with bad knees than good.

  8. The only Skynet I had ever known before was the dystopian entity of Terminator series. I enjoyed the story of your visit to the Beach Huts, the circles and slopes and the kind lady who found you a chair, the old one with a dog who ambled away as if charged with electricity. I must say you have done justice to the electric atmosphere there. Thanks for the fascinating trip.

    1. Very many thanks, Uma, for your usual close reading and comments. Whenever we’ve gone down there before, I’ve just taken the walk for granted and never thought to focus on it.

  9. I would really like it if modern signage such as the Radome signal satellite thing-am-jig could be produced so that it doesn’t deteriorate so quickly. It’s the same problem here.

  10. Oh dear, shame about your heating system! I’m glad you had such a good day out, though. It’s a bit nippy these days but the sun is fantastic. Did you live in Cumbria?

  11. Those steps look like quite a challenge. Good thing that you fortified yourself with that terrifically nourishing food! As I’ve said before, Derrick, I love the colors you are able to achieve in your photos. Beautiful!

  12. I am sorry you have to have your central heating boiler replaced. We had ours done 18 months ago – new boiler, air vent, pipe work and a few radiators too. It cost a lot!! However, the new system works so well, is quiet and so much more efficient. We are using much less fuel than before. I wish you well 🙂

  13. I am sorry to hear about the central heating system, Derrick. Rick and I know well about those small “fixits” which soon escalate into bigger projects.
    It does look like you and Jackie had a wonderful day at the shore though!

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