I was at a crossroads. Continue in the same vein of Saturday, or run away. So run away it was. With some frenetic Googling of 'best beaches near London' (don't laugh they are real), a few stressed messages to said husband to ensure I wasn't planning on going to a seaside gangland and a train ticket later I was outta there. Well, after a good night's sleep any way.
I hopped out of bed, grabbed my beach skirt with glee (in late September no less!), packed my book and vaulted out of the house. It takes 1hr 20 to train from St Pancras Station to Broadstairs (or Margate) so I sat back, relaxed and made sure I had a coffee in hand. Before long, the chalky cliffs of the Dover coast came into view, and then the sea started to sparkle through my window.
Turns out that Broadstairs is the slightly less known cousin to Margate, the escape for scores of Londoners when the weather is good enough to break out flip flops.
Little had I realised my soul pined for the crash of the ocean, a melting ice cream and the feel of sand beneath my feet.
I had no plans to be anywhere and no mission to be on so I bought a couple of snacks and settled in for an hour or two of people watching (them in their wind breaks, a great source of fascinating for us expats!)
I lucked into all of the Great British seaside traditions; jauntily painted sea huts, Viking history, fish and chips, kids racing around with joy, the crash of waves, silky sand settling between toes, soft serve icecream melts and seagulls cry over fishing boat hauls.
Not to mention that Broadstairs is the town where the train is secret (on a weird loop if you take the round about route), ladybirds need rescuing, Charles Dickens lived, elderly dogs patter along chalk cliffs, Sebastian talks to his wife of herbal acupuncture and the local orthodontists operate in a Victorian temple.
Can you see the Sea, of course.... oh... the Sea Monster.
I was going to save this little seaside jaunt for the depths of winter, as a post I mean. But then I thought, what am I doing? Life is for living (just like that annoyingly jaunty Love Life Laugh motto - darn them and their cheerfulness) and a blog is for
This wasn't the end of my seaside wanderings, oh no, it got so very much prettier... (TBC, possibly in the depths of winter)