It’s only when guests come to visit that you find this new sense of appreciation for the area you live in. After a quick weekend visit from a cousin living in Runcorn, it soon became clear that Rye and the surrounding gems it has to offer were worlds apart from her own. Not worse in anyway, just different.
“Can we go to the sea?” she asks.
The sea… Oh yes… We do live by the sea. Camber Sands wasn’t in its usual place at top of my list; the not-so-secret story of Michael Caine shooting his latest film aroused suspicion of long traffic queues and dozens of people crowding to meet the great British legend. And if I had more time on my hands, I probably would have been one of those people.
We settled on Winchelsea Beach, and what a day it was for it. It’s the middle of October and there was a warm breeze in the air, the sun shining brilliantly on the glittering coastline, illuminating the shells and hidden quartz shining in the stones. For me, Winchelsea Beach has become a good dog-walking spot. For the accompanying tourists, it was a small spot of heaven with magical views and glorious weather that anyone living north of the Watford Gap would be envious of this time of year.
A stroll on the beach, then a quick trip into Rye for a pint and an early helping of fish and chips. As always, we were welcomed by a cheery “Hello” in the Waterworks and a refreshing pint of Tonbridge Traditional; the seal of approval granted by my northern compatriots who rarely venture away from a good old pint of Guinness. The blistering heat takes its toll as we sit outside, forcing the sunglasses on and the winter coats off. With bellies full of beer and our cheeks rosy from the winter sun, we quickly order a generous portion of haddock and chips from Marino’s and gaze over the estuary from Rye castle as we tuck into our lunch time treat. Despite the family arguments over salt and vinegar (seriously, why can’t people just have a dry chip?!), we all swoon over the freshness of the piping hot fish and the crunchy sensation of the salty, moreish chips.
And that was the day; nothing out of the ordinary and nothing particularly newsworthy, but it was a precious, wholesome day that reminded me of the incredible area we are blessed to live in. And nothing made my point more than my cousin’s remark of “We should do more of this on Saturday afternoons.” For me, this IS what I do. This is my entire life and it’s all on my doorstep. We may all roll our eyes at the never-ending advice to “be thankful”, but maybe if we opened our eyes for just a moment, maybe it wouldn’t be so hard.
Image Credits: Sarah Davies .