boden girls seaside

In Northumberland, the sky is a different blue. It’s icier somehow, fresher than our Yorkshire cerulean, and on rainy days it is the cold, bright grey of steel. The hills are amber and green, the Scottish border just minutes away, and the beaches smell of seaweed, old stories and burning wood.

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It’s a natural habitat for my friend Helen, who writes children’s stories; her life is like a storybook, her home like one of her own illustrations brought to life. Her cupboards are full of vintage china, illustrated children’s books & mismatched, beautiful bedding; Her studio a candy store of paper scraps, sketches, & inspiration.
She makes pancakes and blueberry muffins for breakfast, while her partner, Gerry, makes coffee to precise & mysterious rules. A local rooster – homeless, wandering – visits their garden every day and crows in the morning. We take trips to windy, blustery beaches, and Helen always magically has a picnic in her bag – a flask of tea, a packet of foil-wrapped biscuits. She spreads out old woolen blankets and we watch the frosty blue sea crash in under that big Northumberland sky. She finds the best sea treasure – scraps of blue floral pottery, chunks of green glass, all worn smooth by years under the tide.

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One night during our stay, Helen gives each girl a ball of yarn, and we all run round & around the house until it’s tied up like a maypole, their scruffy doodle of a dog Peggy barking at our feet.

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F & Orla have the uneasy sort of friendship you’d expect from a pair where one is three times the age of the other, and the younger hasn’t quite mastered the art of sharing yet. Still, they play together for hours, Orla doing her ‘sassy walk’ beside this wonderful big girl, calling me ‘Mum’ like the big girls do.

It’s been a long time since I photographed Freida, but she gets it, knows what to do for a perfect shot. She would be a brilliant model, providing she promises to always eat lots of cake with me, obviously.

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Orla is not quite so obliging, having a lot of important flowers to pick and questions to ask – where babby duck gone mummy? , pointing to a pair of swans in the estuary. Later she spots a sandpiper paddling nearby – Babby duck back now – so I’m allowed to return to my photography, or as Orla puts it, Mummy cheese! Bossy boots! <3

Freida wears: cardigan : skirt : top : shoes
Orla wears: cardigan : leggings : top : boots

All clothing courtesty of Boden.

16 Comments

  • Elizabeth @ Awesome Wave

  • May 07, 2015

That sounds like the best kind of famous five.

  • Helen Stephens

  • May 05, 2015

Sara, I have just found this and it is beautiful! Thank you SO MUCH! I love how you see our life!

  • Sara Tasker

  • May 04, 2015

thanks Hannah <3 x

  • Sara Tasker

  • May 04, 2015

Thank you, love! x

  • Little Jam Pot Life

  • May 03, 2015

Lovely images. you capture the mood brilliantly x

  • Hannah Smith | fox and willow

  • May 03, 2015

what beautiful moments and sentiments as well <3

  • Sara Tasker

  • May 01, 2015

Thanks lovely Rebecca! xx

  • Sara Tasker

  • May 01, 2015

Thanks Elizabeth! It is a bit like being in the famous five, except with gender equality, wine, and we’re allowed to swear. x

  • Sara Tasker

  • May 01, 2015

Thank you Sarah – lovely to see you here! Totally know what you mean about the different light in Cornwall – I remember seeing a TV show once on how the blue light down there is just good for the brain. Summer isn’t summer without a few days on a Cornish beach x

  • Sara Tasker

  • May 01, 2015

Aw, thanks you. & yes, completely magic! x

  • Sara Tasker

  • May 01, 2015

Thanks Brit. Come and seeeee us! *wafts scone and tea smell your way*

  • BritW

  • April 30, 2015

Everything about this is so pretty. I’m dying to visit so many places across the pond. 🙂

  • Julia Williams

  • April 30, 2015

How gorgeous is this blog post – both words and beautiful photos! Your friend Helen’s life sounds pretty magic xx

  • Sarah by the Sea

  • April 29, 2015

Such a beautiful post. Your friends lifestyle is just dreamy, these colours too <3 ahh. inspiring.
I also grew up and live by the sea but light is much different in Cornwall, I love this northern glow.
The imagery in your writing is also perfect 🙂

Love & magic

Sarah xxo | thesaltyseablog.blogspot.co.uk

  • Elizabeth @ Awesome Wave

  • April 29, 2015

It sounds like you had such a beautiful and idyllic time. And your photographs are just stunning. I love the idea of perfect breakfast and picnics by the sea.

  • Rebecca Harrison

  • April 29, 2015

Lovely!!

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