During my stay in England, I spent some lovely time with my grandparents who live on the Dorset coast. “Oh, I do like to be besides the seaside!”, I have so many childhood memories of the seaside, staying with my grandparents and taking the train to the beach during my summer holidays. I was really excited to see my grandparents, and excited to see the sea. I had lived in the middle of India for a year, I missed the big blue!
Sea air is good for the soul (and the body), I always sleep so well after being close to the sea. The air is so clean, away from the roads and has tiny droplets of sea water which is enriched with salt, iodine, magnesium and trace elements. It was good to breathe this salty air and taste it on my lips, especially after living in the dusty Indian air for so long.
Our winter walks along the Dorset coast, otherwise known as the Jurassic coast, were wonderful and refreshing. The Jurassic coast is beautiful, the crumbling cliffs reveal 185 million years of history, transformed by ice ages and changing sea levels. When I was a child, I used to spend hours searching for fossils on the beach.
Brits tend to swarm to the seaside and strip down to their bikinis and start sunbathing as soon as the sun pops out from behind a cloud. 25°C in England sees men strolling around the place topless, trying to get a suntan. Meanwhile, 25°C in India means the woolly jumpers come out of the closet, everyone is cold. It’s very funny, us Brits get so excited over a little bit sunshine. Now that I’ve been in a 50°C summer, British summers seem so mild, that is if they happen at all. Britain can be the place that summer forgot. On the other hand, rain, rain never forgets Britain.
During these ‘hot days’ in England, there is nothing more enjoyable that a trip to the seaside. There are several traditional things that you must do to get the full British seaside experience:
- Build sandcastles.
- Have a picnic on the beach and then complain when sand finds it’s way into your sandwiches.
- Write your name in the sand.
- Play on the addictive 2p slot machines in the arcades on the pier and feel like you’re the champion of the world you win a jackpot (even though the jackpot is about 20p, and you spent about £3 getting there).
- Take a ride on a donkey along the beach (my favourite as a child).
- Watch a Punch and Judy puppet show on the sand.
- Catch crabs in rock pools.
- Roll up your trousers, paddle in the waves and complain how cold the sea is.
- Eat fish and chips on the seafront, whilst protecting them from seagulls who will try to steal them (the equivalent in India? That monkey who stole my corn).
Now, some photos from around the internet to show the highlights of the Great British seaside…