Friday 31 July 2015

The Beach - Where I'm Happiest!

This week I am on holiday down in Poole and unfortunately, the weather has not been the fabulous sunshine that I associate with this neck of the woods. Growing up as a child we holidayed in Bournemouth (just next door) every year and it was always blazing sunshine and lots of trips to the beach. My love of a sandy beach grew from there and the idea of walking along the prom looking out to sea on an evening, with all the bright lights of the pier and the calm swish of the waves crashing in grew as one of my favourite things to do.

I loved this area and being by the sea so much that I moved to Bournemouth for four years whilst I was at Uni and created so many wonderful memories - diving into the sea at 4am after the summer ball, sunbathing whilst I should have been revising for my exams and cliff walking with my then-boyfriend.

The idyllic Uni life came to end and the real world beckoned so I headed off to London to work and thankfully that Christmas they sent me to Eastbourne, to the beach once again and of course also into the arms of my now-husband. Again being by the beach become locked into my life path and we shared our first kiss on the pier, argued on the prom and walked the beach for hours.

Eventually, we settled in the home counties and at least an hour from our nearest beach but often we made the drive and just enjoyed being by the sea. Never really did my husband and I have much of an urge to go on the beach, just to be close and to know it was there, enjoying the sounds and the smells.

Of course, a couple of years ago we moved to East Sussex and now we are just about eight miles from our nearest beach and I've even come to love stony beaches and how much fun you can have with pebbles. It's hard not to start to take the coast for granted when you live so close but I'm determined I won't, I waited a long time to live by the sea again. So, at least once a month I go down there on my own and pray, ponder or read. It really is where I am most at home and one day I plan to live within walking distance. Then I'll know I've arrived.

As I mentioned at the start, this week we are on holiday and the days have swung between rainy and seriously overcast. It would have been so easy to avoid the beach but we haven't. Even when windy and overcast it was fun to build sandcastles, collect shells, have a walk and Miss M was even game for some wave jumping and crazy water fun. Just look at the kids enjoying themselves and I was too, it's so great to engage with them at their level.

It would be very easy to assume that as the sun is not brightly shining none of us needed any sun protection but actually 30-40% of the UV rays will still penetrate on an overcast day and if cloud cover is only light or partial then UV will remain high (Source). For this reason, I like to put sun protection on the kids in the morning as part of their getting ready process during the summer months and P20 is a brand that has been around a long time and I recall using it back in my twenties when I went abroad frequently.

You never can be too careful! Check out my primer to help you understand sun protection and what all the difference terms and icons mean in the UK.