High Summer- It’s a Beach

How was your week? It may sound a bit ridiculous when I say we have simmered and sweltered in the sun; the temperature has had a high of 24C (that’s 75 degrees ‘in old money’, as they used to say in England after they changed to a decimilised currency back in the 1970s.) But it is a very humid 75 degrees. I don’t like sweating. With the windows left open at night to welcome Morpheus, the biting insects also fly in overnight. Afternoon naps have become a regular feature of most days.

And, be clear, many of us very pale persons are just not used to  hours of continuous sunshine. My husband spirited his wilting wife off to the seaside mid-week; regular readers will know the Atlantic Ocean is Bee’s Happy Place. We went early and left by lunchtime as sun broke through the cloud cover. It was low tide at Mullaghmore and I waded out to thigh high, kicked the water and anointed myself in salt water. Is there anything more delicious than licking your upper lip after washing your face in seawater?

Mullaghmore Beach
Mullaghmore Beach- It wasn’t quite this empty this week, but there was plenty of social distancing, especially if you kept dogs on extendable leads.

The other important bit of news I need to impart is that there are just a few more places left available on my Zoom Creative Writing Workshops starting on 1st September.

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You can find full details and the registration form here: Zoom with Word Alchemy in September.

As to the Sunday weekly poem, I am cutting myself some slack this week.  Suddenly, my writing practice has taken a prose turn. It has been a long time since I dipped into writing creative non-fiction and the first draft is a hot mess. But you just have to push through the the merde first draft and see what can be cleaned later. I am 4000 words deep into hot mess first draft and have barely scratched the surface.

So as I looked out my window at an eerily still landscape I decided that a haiku was appropriate.

The restless sleeper
Twists out from sweaty bedclothes
Heat haze shrouds the hills.

May you have a peaceful week. I hope you find your Happy Place, too. And if you cannot physically visit, may the memory of it be vivid and quenching to your parched soul.

The Beach

While it would appear that in the US the road trip is the most popular form of family vacation, the beach is still a popular destination for a holiday in just about every country with or without a coast. The sea is a powerful lure even in countries like Britain and Ireland where there is no guarenteed sunshine and you often see children paddling in the Atlantic in insulated surf suits. The seaside holiday sojourn rose in popularity of the Regency period, when the Prince Regent routinely decamped court to Brighton. Jane Austen’s Persuasion included a seaside sojourn upon which the plot turns. Something about the ozone or the negative ions in the are, the salt spray, the invigourating chilliness of water on sunburnt skin, is universally appealing. It’s cooling in hot weather. You can legally run around nearly naked (although Jane would disapprove of that sort of disrobing.) The seaside is so damn, well, elemental. One quote I came upon celebrates that fact that you can do nothing far more easily there than anywhere else. Although I would query that definition of ‘nothing.’ Kite flying, beach combing, fossil hunting, fishing, swimming, surfing, rock pool skimming, walking, sunrise and sunset watching. These are not nothing. But they are all ways of leisurely letting your mind go out with the tide.

I am fortunate enough to live fifty minutes from the coast, so we can take day trips as and when we find a window. Winter beaches can be quite as wonderful (and less crowded) than summer ones.

Today’s Poetry Daily celebrates my favourite summer place since childhood. It truly does embody my happy place. The first line is a quote from Umair Siddiqui.