Start with a beautiful little five year old girl. Ideally the little girl should not have been entirely 100% health wise lately and if possible, should have had a slightly broken but not entirely awful sleep the previous night. Your own sleep should also have been broken resulting in you waking with the mother of all headaches.
Take two paracodol.
Enjoy a relaxing and rather lovely morning at home and pottering in the garden, rush at the last minute to chuck your whole world into a bag.
Take another two paracodol.
Take the bus. Take the mid week bus in the middle of the day to a small seaside village. Take the bus commonly referred to as the bouncy bus, the old bus or the hole in the hedge bus when both you and the little girl have been known to suffer from travel sickness.
Arrive at the beach when the tide is well and truly in, leaving yourselves only stones and rubble to play in.
Take one 500mg paracetamol.
Explain to small child the idea of "sea glass" and "sea pottery" to make the whole tide being in thing more fun (and possibly profitable too)
Marvel at how quickly the little girl, having heard only the word glass, can fill a bucket with the arse ends of empty Old English bottles on what appears at first glance to be an immaculate beach.
Walk a long way.
Stay long enough for the tide to be well and truly out.
Bring crap to eat instead of real food, because you had lunch at home and have a lovely dinner in the crockpot, so you'll only need snacks.
Stay long enough for the sun to begin setting and a very slight chill to rise in the air.
Bring everything apart from the kitchen sink because you figure that when nature gives you grit betwixt your toes, she also provides a conveniently located (if a smidgen on the cold side) body of water to wash off in and a blanket because of how glorious the weather was before you left the house.
Build a sand castle with sand too wet for castle building.
Walk down to the water's edge to wash off and half way there tell the little girl to watch out for crabs.
Carry the little girl and the rucksack containing your whole world and the bucket and the spade and two pairs of shoes the remainder of the way to the water's edge.
Repeat only travel in the opposite direction.
Fail to take into consideration the fact that slightly sleep deprived and not 100% health wise little girls will be more acutely aware of the chill in the air.
Arrive at the car park just in time to get a signal on your phone for what you realise to be the first time since you arrived and receive a text from your husband saying he will be one hour late to the beach.
Sit down on the grass and add all available layers to the little girl, including wrapping her in the towel and then spend the remainder of the hour looking at the lovely car park with its freshly painted lines while the little girl snores peacefully in your arms.
Take two more paracetamol. Come to the conclusion that someone has swapped out the meds for tic tacs.
Wish you'd stayed at home where you could be snoring peacefully too.
Hope the little girl forgets about this day at the beach and remembers all the lovely times we've had at the beach in time for our summer holiday. A full week camping ..... at the beach!