Whenever I think of the beach I think of blissful childhood holidays with my family in Sedgefield, running and swimming for hours, care-free. Just sand, salty water, sun and the wonderfulness of it all encapsulated in the smell of coconut sunscreen forever afterwards.
But the beach by myself these days is quite different.
When packing my bag I take only the things I really need, thinking thrice about taking a library book in case my bag gets stolen while swimming (beware the wrath of the librarian).
I make my peace with the possibility of not having my camping towel/goggles/journal with special writings and drawings/pencil case/keys/even the useful bag housing it all by the time I leave the beach.
I wonder whether the cake flour in the Spar packet in my uncovered boot would prove to be too much of a temptation for someone to be able to control themselves from breaking the window and discovering the bonus’ of a phone and bank cards squirrelled under the driver’s seat.
I must make my peace with this too.
Walking on the beach is punctuated by looking behind me every so often to make sure I’m not being followed and eyeing out somewhat suspicious looking wanderers to see if they too have their eyes on me. The spot I pick to lie down is chosen on the basis of it’s proximity to an “emergency exit” in the form of a wooden bridge leading over the dune across the golf estate to some houses.
The wind feels colder once t-shirt and short-less and my towel insufficiently big, allowing room only for what is between my knees and shoulders. The dune is sloped so I decide to lie parallel with the beach with the right side of my body sliding towards the sea and my face towards the mountain. I need to attempt a drawing of this collection of rocks in the shape of a table to feel at least accomplished if not relaxed by the end of this excursion and it succeeds in taking my mind off all the worries briefly while I get lost in all the craggy folds of our city’s ever-loyal guardian.
After letting my pen loose I feel somewhat lighter and make my way back to the warm comfort and perceived safety of my old cream-coloured car, body goosebumped and sandy.
As I push down the flimsy, plastic locking mechanism on the door I sigh a long sigh, humming this song:
Just sand, salty water, sun and the wonderfulness of it all encapsulated in the smell of coconut sunscreen forever afterwards Click To Tweet