2020 will forever be known as the year that wasn’t. But hey, look at the great weather we have! If we take away lockdown, social distancing and keeping a supply of face masks available for the family to use, we can still keep things pretty normal, right? Maybe not this year. But if a trip to the beach is calling you, which would you head off to?
Now I’m not usually a fan of pebble beaches. Give me sand over stones any day. But Brighton beach holds many memories for me. There was one particularly hot day where I was called to the office at primary school to find my Mum there to collect me.
‘I have to go to the doctors,’ she said.
We walked down the school drive and I was surprised when she led me towards my Dad’s Blue Vauxhall Viva waiting up the road. The car whose number plate I have realised I still remember, by the way.
They actually got me out of school to skive off for a day at the beach!
If you knew the cantankerous old head-mistress I had at the time you would appreciate the depth of their bravery.
Brighton was always our go-to when I was a child.
‘Are we there yet?’
‘Tell me when you can smell the fish from the sea,’ Dad would say every time we set off. You would have thought he might have waited until we were closer to the coast than the Surrey/Saaaarf London border we set off from.
I used to collect the prettiest pebbles. Well, I thought they were. Unique and different in size and shape and colour. And I used to keep them in a blue, lidded box lined with cotton wool to keep them safe. I used to take them out to wash them periodically, as I liked the way they shone when they were wet.
My mum threw them out one day.
Devastated was not the word.
I remember my grandparents coming along one day and we all took a walk along the pier. Watching the sea between the boards always fascinated me.
And made me queasy.
Although not as queasy as recalling the monstrous mirrored sunglasses my Grandad bought me. I thought I rocked the look. I probably did, to be fair. I was always pretty cool.
The pier isn’t there anymore, sadly having been destroyed in a fire. But I spent far more time than I should have flicking between this absolutely fantastic throwback to the comparison between Brighton beach then and now from Regatta’s #CoastalBritain campaign. I played between the photos for ages!
Actually, Regatta’s ‘then’ is further back in history than the ‘then’ of my childhood from where my stories came. Although my children might think there’s little between the two. But nonetheless, it’s a fascinating bit of fun.
So, where is your favourite beach and why? I’d love to hear a story or two from you.