Thursday, February 20, 2014

Beside the Seaside

Photo Courtesy: Tony Ray-Jones
When I was growing up, to go to the seaside was a major adventure.  Although it was only about 40 miles or so, it would seem to take hours to get there.  We would pack sandwiches and a flask of coffee for the journey.  And on a Bank Holiday, forget it - it would feel like days of sitting in traffic.  When you got there, it was cold!! 

We always had to look for that one particular parking space which was close to the beach, close to the shops and of course close to the funfair or the pier.  We were so excited to get onto the beach.  The wonderful beach – ahh those perfectly formed round pebbles in every size, some big enough to stand on, while others were just the right size to get into your shoe or between your toes to create the most pain.

Get to the Water Dance!
Children learn to run to the water and into the waves to find that illusive bit of sand so you can actually stand still for a while.  Everyone else does the “Get to the Water Dance”… arms out to the side, elbows pumping, knees jerking up and down, eeks and ahhs squealed.  Hilarious to watch, but we all do it! You get to the water and stand for just a moment before your legs go numb from the cold… and then the dance begins again, back to your spot (if you can find it).  And you shiver, wrapped in a towel behind your windbreak, on your rented deck chair, eating cheese sandwiches which somehow manage to have sand in – although you couldn’t find any sand on the beach if you tried.  Where does it come from?

IF you can find your spot!

Every trip ends with a walk along the pier and a stick of rock – or my favourite, a seashell full of sweets in the shape of pebbles. Oh those were the days…..

And now, here I am living in sunny California. To go to the beach is a spur of the moment thing. Grab a towel, jump in the car and head west for about 40 minutes (or less). When you get there you sink your feet into the golden sand and “walk” to the water, which is warm! Pure bliss!!

I just wish I could find a stick of rock!

Seychelles Mama


  1. I really like the way you write. How long do you plan to stay in America? Is there a UK community where you live?
    I am french, and I live in subsaharian Africa, but before I used to live in Leamington Spa, maybe you've heard about it, near Birmingham I guess...
    I am trying to create a community of expat women/girls, where they can share all their writings and tips about their travel, don't hesitate to join me ;) cheers xx

    1. Thank you so much for the compliment! It looks like I will be here for the long haul...I have no plans to return to England just yet. I have joined your community - thank you for the invitation.

  2. This is a lovely post! Really enjoyed reading it! You brought such perfect British seaside imagery!! You're so right about the sand in the sandwiches too...always sandy!!! I think there is definitely something special about beaches in the UK that can't be found anywhere else, I a, not sure what it is but it's definitely there!!!

    Thanks for sharing this with #myexpatfamily

    1. I think that something special is wind and rain... probably! :-)

  3. This is such an evocative post. My school was by the coast. We had a tunnel from the grounds through the cliff down to the 'school' beach, in the summer the matrons would take us down and we could rock pool. It was ever so much fun.

  4. Yup, that's my life now. We live just near Brighton and our beach is pebbly and Brighton rock is everywhere. My kids love Brighton Pier and I love all the quirky little shops and winding streets. Hope you are enjoying sunny California! I'm definitely enjoying England but I do wish it was a bit more sunny :-)

    1. I went back to England last July and took a trip to Brighton.. it was exactly how I remembered it.

  5. Awww Cali is just the best place to be! Love this post. Its a lovely read =) #myexpatfamily