I’m really missing the sea this week, but looking back at these photos is cheering me up a little. As much as I wish I was back there, flicking back through my holiday pics I can’t help but smile. They don’t half give me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside! Of course there are more reasons for my holiday memories being happy than just being by the sea, but as I have mentioned a couple of times, I find it very hard NOT to feel happy when I’m near the ocean.
I’m guessing it started with where I was born, in Scarborough, a classic Northern seaside town. Even though we moved to the Midlands (so pretty much as far away from a coast as you can get in England!) when I was very small, my Grandparents remained, so we spent pretty much every school holiday up there with them. Those trips were probably reminiscent of many an English child’s seaside holidays – there were buckets and spades, amusement arcades, fish and chips, melty ice creams with a flake and donkey rides on the beach. But we also got to see a different side thanks to it being the place we were born. My Grandad knew where the donkeys lived, and we’d visit them to bring them carrots when they were put out to graze. My Nana knew which shop did the absolute best ‘lemon toppers’ (a vanilla ice cream cone topped with lemon sorbet, a local delicacy if you will!) because she knew the places off the beaten track. But one of my favourite pastimes was my Grandad’s epic treks along the cliff tops, where we’d find secret coves and bays that were empty of tourists and choc full of washed up treasure and rockpools to explore (he used to get in a lot of trouble from my Mum for letting us scale cliffs, FYI, but I’m sure he knew we were safe!).
This led to a passion for the sea that has never gone away, with me wanting to get as close to it as possible whenever I’m in the general vicinity. Even when we went back a few years ago for my Nana’s funeral, all in our 20’s & 30’s, my sisters and I begged my Dad to, ‘Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaase drive around the Marine Drive, pleeeeeeeease!’ on the way home. I don’t know what it is, but somehow smelling the sea air and hearing the waves crash just fills me with a sense of peace and belonging, like I was meant to be there.
These days I am a city girl at heart. My beloved and I have had many conversations centered around where we might like to live in the future (he had more of a small village upbringing than me) and while I consider myself to be an open minded person, I find it tough to imagine not living in a city, where a fantastic night out is only ever an Uber away and the shops are in walking distance. But the one thing that might convince me would be the sea. If I could pass the sea on my commute every morning and watch the sun set on the horizon every night, I might just be convinced to leave the trappings of city living. Though I’m pretty sure the locals might think I’m a little odd, trotting down the promenade in my big skirts and heels on a Tuesday….!