People are asking the question "did you have a nice summer?". I don't really know how to answer. It sounds rather like the American question "where do you summer?" (Friends reference number 2), and the answer should be something like "in the Hamptons". Summer doesn't seem over yet, the weather is still pleasant, the chickens are still laying and I'm still wearing flip flops. On the other hand, it is dark by 8pm, I have cooked a roast lunch and the children of the UK are back at school. The family summer holiday seems like a distant memory, back in July before Mr Moule went to Europe and before Strong and Silent went to Aiya Napa.
Turkey was fabulous, but really.......you can keep the Mediterranean Sea, the Caribbean Sea, the Red Sea, the Baltic Sea and give me the North Sea any day. Nothing replaces life's luxury of the North Sea no matter what the season, no matter what the weather. I regret that my children didn't grow up by the North see like I did, with the salt air, crabbing, beach huts, wind surfers, skating rinks and swimming "off the pipe". The pipe was and I believe still is, the sewage pipe that lead out in to the sea. I don't remember it going very far out to sea because as children we would leave our mums at the beach huts, probably having a cheeky Cinzano and lemonade whilst discussing the latest Sanderson wall paper, saying "we're just going over the pipe". No-one seemed concerned that we were swimming amongst the town's sewage, Blue Beaches had yet to be invented. I don't know where they got them, but someone would always drag along an tractor inner tube to play on.
The pipe was also an excellent place to go crabbing. The joy of tying a piece of bacon to the end of your line and pulling up a crab was better than completing a level on Candy Crush. The crabs would be put in a plastic bucket (mine was shaped like a castle), filled with sea water and taken back to the beach huts for crab racing.
Being a teenager by the North Sea held different charms. Beach parties, hand-in-hand walks with a boy friends along the sea front ( making sure we stopped to sit down on the wall where my Dad dropped a can of peach coloured Dulux exterior house paint - I must have a look and see if the paint is still there next time I visit). It was great to live there in the summer but the winter had another charm by the North Sea. It became wild, with Heathcliff proportions. Grey sea merging with grey sky with biting winds that made a kiss almost painful. Any sea or ocean lifts my heart but nothing lifts it as high as the North Sea.