I’ll be 40 this year and with a young family, I am often caught trying to emulate my magical childhood summers spent on beaches on the Helford River. Of all that I can remember of being little, these are by far the strongest recollections I have.
The smell of freshly caught mackerel cooking on a barbeque instantly transports me back to those long, light evenings on Grebe beach, where a group of friends and I would be skimming stones and clambering boundlessly on the rocks, while the adults would languish on rugs on the beach and sup on red wine and get that little bit louder as the evening went on.
My Mum, partner, brother, dogs and I would spend the afternoon slipping and sliding on the shingly beach, splashing about in the clear blue sea and relishing in each other’s company, with not a care in the world. As daylight fell a crowd would form, a bonfire would be lit and the delicious treats would start to be cooked. Oh how I still love now, to be under the starlit sky, with flip-flops, damp hair and a cosy sweater – with my skin glowing from the heat of the day.
What gives me most pleasure now though is to create these moments for my children (10 and 7), who in a digitally challenged world, are transported to the same off the grid world on the Helford, where there’s little mobile signal, limited 4G and the only things that matter are life’s simple pleasures and our beautiful, natural world.
A few crab lines and a pack of bacon provides hours of entertainment, whoops of delight and unadulterated joy for small people. Sure I remember grumbling as a child, about having to walk back up to the car, but I think that was more about not wanting the evening to end.
So here’s to many more warm beach days with our loved ones. Magic.