Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Oh, to be beside the seaside

These pictures were taken in Whistand Bay, Cornwall, one of my favourite places in the world. The beach is reached by driving along steep cliffs and along windy Cornish roads and then by an almost diagonal slope down to the sand. 

If you're lucky enough to have grown up near to this beach then you will also know about the amazing path that creeps along beside the hidden beach huts - some of the only residential beach huts in the UK. They are like something about of a dream, or the lovely shire of the Hobbits in the Lord of the Rings.  

When I was working as a researcher for a TV company, I had to hunt out some of the owners of these huts for a feature on waterside living. One day I knocked on the door of a couple who had just come home with their day old baby. They welcomed me with open arms (we'd never met!) and we all sat shellshocked, chatting together and watching the sun setting over the sea. I made tea, heating water in a black pot on top of their little stove and drinking sweet tea out of white tin mugs. 

I dream of living in one of these huts, waking with the rising sun and spending my day tending to the fuchsias and sweet williams in the garden. 

Yet I would miss the busy pulse of London..the traffic of Old St, the smells of the market on Whitecross St, the aggressive elbows that greet me on Oxford Circus, the rainbow of colours on Colombia Rd, the coffee on Monmouth St, the luscious greens and community of strangers in Queens Park and most of all the friends who have foolishly chosen to allow me to adopt them as my surrogate family in this foreign city. 

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