Downderry Beach, Cornwall
The beach in summer is bustling, hot and peppered with BBQs, beer cans and windbreaks as far as the eye can see (a personal peeve). I love it, all the same.
The smell of sand dunes, drying your body in the sun after taking a dip, the crystal blue water, snoozing on your towel after finishing a chapter of your book, padding along the hot sand in search of ice cream. I’m there for all of it.
However, when the families have gone home and the clouds have descended, I’m also there. I love the beach in winter.
The wind whips your hair into your face, shielded by an enormous scarf. Wellies plod across the sand and dogs have free rein over the miles of weather beaten expanse. The sea, in it’s frothy darkened state, crashes onto the shore.
With full tummies and slightly fuzzy heads, we headed off to explore a new beach in December.
Millie the dog in tow (as well as an entourage of 8 of us) we blew away the cobwebs after a fake new year’s dinner party that didn’t finish until 3am.
These are my best friends. Some of the family I’ve chosen myself. As cheesy as it may sound, as Rach put it, sometimes these things need to be said. They lift me up and feed my soul. Nearly 15 years ago we bought shares in each others lives, and have watched their worth grow exponentially over time.
Exploring Downderry beach we crossed rivers of water (some more gracefully than others) and walked the miles along the stretch of sand, chatting through our plans and dreams for 2018 and reminiscing about all the previous new year’s we’ve spent together.
I love a tradition, yet this year I’ve realised it’s ok to break them. As you get older the festive repetitions you saw through your childhood will all naturally change. So we build new ones. The same people, new situations, jobs, locations and lives. Coming together less frequently than in our school days, but appreciating it all the more.
I’m proud of these people, of who they’ve become, and who they’ll go on to be.