Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The Beach In Winter










  
 
 











 
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.
 
Leanne xx
 



17 comments:

  1. Your photos are beautiful. I've never been to the beach in winter, I don't think, unless you count a lake or pond. And I really don't. Take heart, I'm not getting all that much done around here either. Just one more day of school, at least, so there's that. I just left the school after working for five hours in the classroom and ended up in a fender-bender in the parking lot with another mom. At least she's someone I know, and not a jerk, so I think we'll be fine. We were both at fault, just one of those things. Nobody hurt, thankfully. I'm ready for bed at 1:30 in the afternoon. If only I could actually just do that...

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  2. I, too, love the beach in winter. I thoroughly enjoyed your evocative writing and was right there with you, despite physically being in Sydney, Australia, in high summer.

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  3. A walk on the beach sounds wonderful! Perhaps not right now as it would be very dark, but during the day time. Just what is needed to blow the cobwebs away! Hope that you get the gifts and bags and choccies all sorted and that you enjoy the quality streets! Happy Christmas! xx

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  4. Thank Leanne, I needed a breath of fresh air after shopping in Guildford with my daughter for about five hours today. Every shop seemed to be pumping out smells and my nostrils needed some ozone so I'm thankful to be on Porthmeor beach with you this evening. We've surfed in double wetsuits on your beach in January and it's not as cold as April, always the cruellest month for sea lovers.

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  5. What a lovely post. Great words and wonderful photos. I am green with envy at your being just 10 minutes walk from that beach - I'd love nothing better than to stride out along the sand with a smiley dog for company. Breathe in some of that ozone for me tomorrow please. xx

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  6. Absolutely gorgeous photos. I know exactly what you mean about the beach in winter, I love, love, love the coast. I'd so like to spend some winter time in Cornwall. All that space and light and air. Blissful. It must be wonderful to walk there every day, I am most envious. I got flap all done today as well, so I clearly deserve a tin of Quality Street too. Actually I did get to the Post Office, but I'm not sure that counts as the parcels and card for France were still at home. So close. I have done that thing with Amazon before now, and reading your post I have a nagging feeling that something I mean to order wasn't ordered. I have lots and lots of wispy thoughts in my head, and getting a grip of them is very tricky. I've spent time cruising light industrial estates looking for giant trampolining centres and the like, I know exactly what you mean. Had to find one out the back of Cribbs Causeway the other day on a pre-Christmas Saturday afternoon in the driving rain. And apparently I have to go back there again around the time of the January sales as well. Now then, about that chocolate... CJ xx

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  7. The beach is a magical place in every season and your caught some of that magic in your photos.

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  8. That's a lovely blue, how rare to get a sea like that in December

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  9. You live in the right place, hey my lovely? Beach and sea guardian indeed. Your pictures brought on a pang to be by the sea. Have a good rest of the week, chick xx

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  10. One reason I love reading your blog is how truthful you are. Your life is real like mine. I too have a long list with few things ticked off but I know what really needs to get done will be by the day and anything that got left won't matter. I live at the coast but we don't have such a wonderful beach as yours. But I love walks near the front all year round too

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  11. Just looking at those photos has blown some sense through my head! The beach is calling.

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  12. Hi Leanne. I feel relaxed just reading about your beach walk, thank you! I am not even making a list this year, I am just closing my eyes and hoping for the best. And yes, I regularly forget to actually order stuff in my shopping basket. I would add this to the top 20 of my annoying habits. Hope your big boy is home and happy. You must be so so exited to see Sam! Did you get your choppy tea? (I have just been over at Sarah's and read your comment). Have a wonderful weekend with your loved ones. Christina xx

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  13. how can you say you've achieved flap all, when you had a walk on the beach. that is an achievement above all others x

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  14. Oh well said my friend! Beautiful words to go with some excellent images. I like to be on the beach in the winter (and summer, but especially the winter) because it reminds me how big the world is and how small I am, and that always seems to put everything into perspective. There is something so mesmerising about looking out to the horizon. And the smell - even a sheltered harbour walk along the coastal inlets around here makes me feel all at peace. I have to say though, you win when it comes to waves and sea glass. There are bugger all of either of those things on this stretch of coastline. xx

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  15. I love the beach at this time of year too, it is such a contrast to the busy streets full of shoppers. We are both so lucky to live so close to the sea and can enjoy it throughout the seasons. Sarah x

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  17. Strolls along the beach are relaxing, especially after a tiring day at the self storage. Once we had a number of clients needing assistance with portable storage solutions that the day has worn out many of the guys. A good beer with them on the beach was something that they appreciated.

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