Okay so I've just cracked open a box of Quality Street, having achieved flap all today. Unless you count three phone calls from friends and family in various states of distress, a blowy walk along the beach, driving in the rain and fog to deposit cadets at their roller disco party (who hides a roller disco in an industrial estate in a barely used area of Redruth?) and general headless chicken shenanigans.
I had a list, you see. A list that needed to be ticked off and completed. I've ticked off 'buy candy canes and white chocolate,' and that's it. I'm yet to finish addressing the Christmas cards. I haven't finished Sam's room for his arrival home on Friday. I've literally just realised that I haven't got any cellophane bags for teacher gifts. Honestly, that realisation has just popped into my head as I'm typing this tale of woe. Wondering why my book order from Amazon hasn't arrived yet, I went to investigate, only to find that I hadn't actually completed the purchase. Have you ever done that? Four books are waiting mournfully in my basket. The one Mrs Thatcher wrote looks very miffed.
All this fannying about and inner mayhem is in stark contrast to the pictures above. Porthmeor Beach has become my hour of sanctuary each morning. Rain or shine (but mostly rain), Honey and I perambulate down the hill from here to there. It takes us about ten minutes to reach the beach. Honey smiles all the way; she knows where we are headed. I take her lead off at the top of the steps leading down to the sand, and together we canter down. There are always some dog walkers enjoying the space. There have been loads of surfers, enjoying the waves. I think I'd like to go in. It must be fabulous at this time of year.
There is something about a beach in winter. Don't get me wrong; there is nothing in the world I enjoy more than being sat on Porthmeor on a hot summer's day, when the white sand is warm between my toes, and the sea is the brightest, clearest blue. But it's the winter beach that I enjoy most. For one thing I can wrap up, instead of strip off. And quite frankly that's a bonus for all concerned as I approach my forty sixth year. I love the sheer expanse of a beach in winter. The feeling that it's all yours, as you march headlong into the wind. The air is super fresh, and can literally take your breath away. The sand has been cleaned by the high tides and rolling waves, that suck it out into it's depths, and then hurl it freshly washed back onto the shoreline.
The sounds of the breakers crashing, followed by the sucking noise of the retreating water, is simply bewitching. I could close my eyes and listen to that sound all day. And when I do open my eyes, I am greeted by the amazing sight of those froth capped waves working their way from way out in the Atlantic, all the way to little old me. They deposit shells ad seaweed and pebbles. There is sea glass, rope, driftwood. I have found some lovely things this week; an exquisite shell the colour of coral, a piece of wood, perfectly round with a hole in the centre, a stone in the shape of a triangle that invites you to turn it around and around in your hand.
There is a feeling of space. The skies are huge. The beach is expansive, with hardly a soul there. This morning it was just me, my sister in law, and perhaps three other dog walkers. I feel a kind of ownership of Porthmeor on days like these. Not in a selfish kind of way (although how wonderful would it be to have your own private beach), more a caretaker of sorts. I know what I mean, even if I can't convey it very well ;) I guess that I don't take it for granted so much in the winter. We go down in all weathers. During the summer months, I can get a little fussy about all the elements combining to make the perfect conditions for a beach day. During the summer, you can hear me say something along the lines of 'Oh it's all a bit overcast out there, let's not bother traipsing down today,' By contrast winter sees me remarking that 'a bit of rain won't hurt you. Get your waterproofs on, we're going whether you like it or not!'
The beach in winter is restorative. It gets rid of headaches. It restores flagging spirits. It revives a saddened heart. It gives me a clarity of vision, and helps me to meditate my way back to some semblance of sanity. Many secrets are shared on a beach in winter. I whisper them to the sea, and watch them float away upon the tide. I am assured that they will be kept safe, as they bob up and down on the crest of the wave. Staring out at the horizon beyond, makes me feel more grounded. It helps me acknowledge my ego, and put it back in its' rightful place.
Have a good evening, friends. I shall be mostly watching Luther on catch up, and possibly having a hot flush.