We are currently on holiday. I believe I began a post like this before. I think it was Greece is the Word. I would link you to it but I am on holiday. And therefore I am unable to do so. As I lack the IT resources.
Suffice to say that if you do find that post the view from the window on this holiday is not quite the same.
We are spending the week in a house on the Kent coast.
Some of my readership hail from far flung, even tropical places. And so therefore I need to perhaps explain what a holiday by the seaside in England is like in January.
One word springs to mind. Cold.
In the UK we have been experiencing a very mild winter this year. When we left our home it was 15 degrees. Really odd. It should be around ten degrees cooler than that. Anyhoo it has been unseasonably warm. So when I printed off my ‘Family Holiday in the U.K.’ Packing list I nearly discounted the thermals section as well as the wet suit and sun hat section.
But then I remembered we were going to the coast. And I packed them anyway. Thank god.
However warm it is in the UK it is reliably a lot colder by the sea. Especially when that sea is the North Sea. I never go to the British seaside without my woolly hat. Ever. Even in June. Because I will get earache without it. To go with the facial exfoliation provided free by the blowing sand.
In theory it seems a wonderful idea. A break by the sea off season. One envisages bracing walks along the coast. I lasted precisely ten minutes on the sands today watching my offspring roll around after a rugby ball before the cold and the fear that they might tackle each other into a pile of dog muck got the better of me. So I left to explore the slightly less windy town.
And there you notice that other thing about most English seaside towns. They have an air of neglect. Which is even more apparent in the winter. Most of the shops remain closed. The lack of sun and people shows up the peeling paint and rusty balustrades. I feel sorry for these places.
In most you can see the grandeur that was there in the height of the British tourist heyday. Before cheap flights lured us all away to sunnier climes. The Art Deco hotel facades. The huge train stations that would have received thousands of holiday makers each summer. The pleasure grounds. The piers. The boating lakes. But often these wonders have been blighted by neighbouring 60s planning monstrosities. By a lack of up keep. By graffiti. By the insufficient numbers of punters.
And then there are seagulls. Nough said. They pinch your chips and poo on everything. I hate them. Flying vermin.
But then despite all this such places have an appeal. We like 2p amusement arcades where an hour’s fun can be had for a couple of quid.
We like watching the New Year’s Day nutters swimming in the sea…weird.
We like the fish and chips.
We like the ice cream parlours.
We like building castles and shell hunting and chapped lips.
We like crabbing off abandoned piers and rock pooling.
We like looking round tacky souvenir shops.
We like drinking proper tea out of styrofoam cups.
We like coming back and getting cosy.
So, yeah, the Med is great. But so is the North Sea.
If you dress up proper.