Monday, 5 March 2012

Let's go to the seaside

There is just something about the seaside that makes me feel five years old again. Pebbles and sand between my toes, salty skin, greasy fish and chips and the obligatory ice cream eaten on the beach (guarded carefully from the fat seagulls circling overhead).

Last weekend my friend and I took a spontaneous day trip to Brighton. We needed to get out of London, and we needed to see the sea.
As soon as we stepped off the train (after a breakfast picnic of flaky croissants, fruit, smoothie and gossip) we both sighed happily. Sky! Sea! We headed straight to the beach and despite being wrapped up in our winter warmers, we couldn't help running in for a quick paddle.

I love the British tradition of visiting the seaside. I love that there will always be one brave swimmer whatever the weather (last weekend he was a lone surfer braving the elements despite the lack of surf), I love that families will set up for the day with wind breakers, sandy sandwiches and buckets and spades and not leave until the sun sets and I love the overpriced trinkets flogged on the beach front. £5 for a jar of pebbles sold in front of a pebbly beach? Perfect.

British seaside towns and all their trimmings (pier, amusement arcade, gaudy plastic windmills) are tacky, but wonderfully so. They are optimistic. A British beach may be no match for the Mediterranean, but us Brits celebrate our shores as if Brighton were Biarritz. 'Love what you've got' is a good motto, and over the years we have come to love our fish and chips and goose-pimply beaches with a passion that makes me proud.

In the afternoon we headed off the beach and just had time to share a slice of carrot cake and a copy of Cosmo before catching our train home.

I think I shall have to come back soon. But next time I promise to go swimming - whatever the weather.


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