Summertime Gladness Day Five: Holding hands and skimming stones…

Last weekend was another of pure summer delight. It was mine and my boyfriend’s (his name is Oli) one year anniversary on Thursday 9th July and so to celebrate we decided to go to the beach. Because a beach day is an undeniable nod to summer.

We ummed and ahhed about which beach to venture to, I was torn between Littlehampton and Broadstairs until I saw one of my facebook friends had posted pictures of a recent trip to Bournemouth. I’m not sure what instagram filter she had employed but the sea looked raspberry-slush-puppie-blue and oh so inviting. So off we went.

To say that Bournemouth was busy would be a serious understatement. The sun was out, a LGBT fair was on, an Austrian music festival was occurring, whilst the entire beach was dominated with the UK’s entire cheerleading population. It was rammed. So locating a parking space initially seemed a hopeless and fruitless task. But whilst trying to leave a particularly full car park, a flicker of light caught my eyes. This literal glimmer of hope turned out to be the car next to us reversing. I leapt out and stood like a starfish in the space, blocking it from any sneaky, prospective car-parking-space thieves.

I’d never been to Bournemouth before, at least not to my knowledge, but it is beautiful. The first thing we did was locate an ice cream. It was hot and we were lagging a bit after the long, hot drive. A 99 with a flake was the perfect pick me up. We took a wander around the pretty park, holding hands and nibbling at our cones, taking in the sights and sounds. A lot of people were laying on the grass in bikinis and swimming shorts, sipping ciders and laughing, tanned skin shaking as they giggled. And as lovely as the park was, I didn’t quite understand why people were choosing to sunbathe there, when there is a perfectly good beach, literally a stones-throw away. Perhaps they have a strong aversion to sand!

Ice cream cones depleted we headed for the beach, towels at the ready. Sun bathing was the plan and we laid out our towels on the windy beach, accidentally whipping sand into our neighbor’s freshly sun creamed faces, the grains adhering to their sticky faces much like glitter on a newly pritt stick-ed piece of paper. Needless to say they weren’t overly amused. We spent a while lying in the sun, squinting our eyes up at the occasional seagull flying over head and letting the sand trickle and run between our fingers, as we played with the miniscule grains. We eventually yanked ourselves up, left our towels and books temporarily abandoned and braved it to the water’s edge.


Tentacles of wave lapped at our previously warm feet, pulling any heat from them and carrying it back into the sea. It was absolutely freezing. We’d taken to the sea at the same time as a group of lads who had run from their beachy base, straight towards the waves where they leapt in, head first. Oli and I took a more reserved approach, and waded in, stopping every now again to catch the breath that had escaped due to the nippy nature of the water. Man, it was cold! But once we’d dunked ourselves fully in, we began to adjust to the icy climate. It was refreshing and liberating, bobbing along in the salty water, looking back at the beach and all the colour that shone from it. It was like a rainbow, with luminous hues from various bikini’s, wind blocks in a plethora of bright shades and an assortment of multicoloured towels, both deserted ones and ones studded with bodies.

Once our fingers began to resemble prunes we clambered back to our towels, where we hurriedly wrapped ourselves up to combat the chilly wind. In an effort to dry off and warm up we ambled along the beach, acknowledging how hard it is to walk on sand, all the while. I began collecting stones, small, cream ones that had been weathered and rounded by the salty waves. As we walked further down the beach we saw a white marquee sat on the sand. It was a wedding. Being the nosey pair that we are, we had a closer look. The wedding party were having a whale of a time, sipping from crystal glasses, the bride positively glowing, the groom mid toast. What a lovely venue!


Our tummies had started rumbling and after getting changed and dried off we headed for Harry Ramsden’s fish and chip restaurant. Once the queue had subsided we were seated on the terrace overlooking the sea, it was ideal. Despite a temporary inability to locate scampi and chips on the menu, it was perfect and just what we needed after a hearty swim.

With an hour left on the car park ticket we took to the extremely windy pier for a meander along the wooden boards, snapping pictures over the side. A trip to the english seaside wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the arcade, where we played on the 2p machines and raced each other on Mario Kart. I so nearly won, which is extremely unusual for me, but Oli just pipped me to the post, much to my annoyance. With our change spent, we mooched back to the car, reluctant to leave, procrastinating via a doughnut shop where we embarrassingly only had enough change for one doughnut, as the lady was too mean to wave the 15p missing from our handful of coppers.


We got home in time for a night cap, or two, of Cava. The exertion of the swim and the sun mixed with a few alcoholic bubbles made for an impeccable night sleep. I was out like a light, dreaming of the beach and all the fun that we’d sandwiched into the day.

Bournemouth was like a mini holiday. As if, for that one day, we’d escaped, taking shelter under a delicious slice of sunshine.

It’s amazing to think that this time last year I fell in love. Time really does fly when you’re having the time of your life. I am so thankful that last year I met the most amazing human being, who makes my days on this planet joyous and exciting and just altogether wonderful. I am a very lucky girl, a girl who has just had the very happiest of first anniversaries. IMG_4380

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