Until I moved to England, three years ago, I had always lived by the sea.
Was it intentional, Mum and Dad, that throughout several house moves, we stuck to the coast?
I took it for granted, never having known anything different. And then I moved to the middle of England, and the first warm day came and I realised there was no beach nearby. Everyone flocked to a park, we spread out our blankets on the grass, and enjoyed the sun (all fifteen minutes of it). And sure, it was lovely, but there was no salty breeze, no sand between my toes (for days to come) and no icy cold waves to jump over.
Even on brisk winter days, I miss putting my wellies on and taking the dogs for a walk on the beach, while the wind rips my scarf off and chills me to the bone.
This summer I was more than excited to be going on two holidays to seaside towns, back to back. Not fancy, hot, different-language kind of beaches, but proper seaweedy, disappointing-weather, packed lunch kind of beaches.
Youghal in County Cork was beautiful. The house we stayed in overlooked the bay, and we sat in the bay window seats for hours watching for dolphins.
We never saw any, but my mum and I saw loads of other interesting things. Well, interesting to us, right Mum? (That man is swimming by those rocks, but there’s a sign saying no swimming! That boat looks awfully low at the back, do you think it’s got a leak?)
And then on to Whitby, North Yorkshire…
What is it about being by the sea that makes me feel calm and rested?
I love it.
All of it.
Waves, lighthouses, boats, long stretches of sand.
And just to balance out that nice photo of me sitting by a boat, here is a photo of me on a boat looking somewhat less composed…