22 September 2014

To celebrate the last of a beautiful summer, I stayed with my family at the coast for a week. Wonderful weather, good food, reuniting with friends and plenty of photographs. The week disappeared in the blink of an eye. 
One hot afternoon we went to the beach and cooked mussels on a little bonfire. The sun dappled through the trees and we found a nice spot with soft pale sand. Dogs wandered past, interested in the smell of onions and seafood coming from our pot. Later we drove for awhile, parked up and went for a hike towards the needles. We watched the sunset from a cliff top covered in purple heather, everything glowed orange.
At another point we stayed up late, lying on the beach in complete darkness at midnight to look at the milky-way. I have never seen stars so strong and bright as they appear where I grew up. You could so clearly see the hazy cloud of the stars that make up the Milky Way. An occasional shooting star would zoom past and hear the sound of the tide gradually going out.

I'm a beach girl, my childhood home was next to the coast of the most southern and warmest part of the Isle of Wight. I am used to my hair and skin tasting of salt because the wind carries the moisture from the sea. Growing up, there were always a few surf boards resting on walls outside and inside the house, colourful bikinis hung out to dry and small amounts of sand permanently left on the floor in my shower. I love storms, where I'm watching them or swimming in the sea during them. Where I grew up, I felt like anything I needed I had access to, fields of flowers, cliff tops, Forests of trees, a dull Sunday could always be filled with a hike. 
Some good friends returning from travelling had a party in their field amongst the trees, many people came together and enjoyed plenty of drinks and dancing to a band. It was a clear and warm evening, with a sky filled with stars. I had known them for many years and had such wonderful memories of us all together growing up, camping, beach bonfires, exploring, hiking, climbing rocks and trees, finding animals, swimming in the sea and local lakes, spending endless summer days wandering in fields and hanging out at each other's houses.
It felt like a trip of reminders and traditions that I didn't know I had. My family are not conventional, we do things in our own little ways, but in themselves they have become traditions based around good eating and good times.