“I can see the sea!”

Here’s a trip down my Memory Lane, and you’re very welcome to come along. It’ll be a civilized and genteel stroll…

When we were children, my three brothers and I would start craning and leaning forward in our seats, desperate to be the first to call out “I can see the sea!” as we approached a vacation destination. It was something of an annual ritual, and signalled the end of the backseat silent territorial war being waged for extra space in a crowded small sedan.

I can see the sea!

Our parents would start to relax, knowing their four boys – delightful children all – were about to be unleashed onto an unsuspecting British beach, and they could stop pretending we hadn’t been fighting and elbowing each other the past few hours. Four sweaty urchins on a leatherette bench seat? How fragrant.

The lucky destination? Usually somewhere in Devon, Cornwall, North Wales or Norfolk. The United Kingdom isn’t the largest of countries, and you’re never too far from the coast, but I bet on those road trips my parents wished they lived on a smaller island…

I can still see it!

Are we there yet? Yes, off you go! Take the cricket bat, footballs, kites, and dog, and come back next week. I mean, before 7pm. And don’t fight. Look after each other. Yeah, right. The unspoken code was to do pretty much anything stupid short of broken bones, and no telling the parents later. We’re all still alive today, and no bones were broken – hard to believe – so I guess we sort of looked after each other. It was always advantageous to be the one with the cricket bat.

“Memory Lane? Yawn…”

These days, it’s pleasant to sit on a log, watch the waves, drink that essential second cup of coffee and wind down after a work week. Goodness knows, my parents must’ve needed to wind down. They worked hard, particularly at being parents to four little angels, even if they weren’t getting along so well with each other. At the beach, my mum would reach for a book, no doubt hoping the children didn’t suffer any serious injuries, and my dad would sometimes join us to play cricket, if he hadn’t disappeared to the nearest golf course. One year, he brought along some sea fishing gear, and spent a week catching no fish. It looked so boring to us, and I think that was what he had hoped.

Winding down time

What prompted all the not so misty-eyed nostalgia above? Last weekend, we were heading down to Sunset Point to enjoy the early morning sun – aren’t we the contrarians? – and as we wandered along, I had a sudden sense of being that (adorable) little boy again, spectacles shining in the sun, excited about glimpsing the sea. I’d quite forgotten that feeling, probably because in recent years we’ve seen the ocean every day, but it hit hard last weekend. It is a thrill to see the sea! Even better when you aren’t nursing new bruises and can walk straight there, no cramped car journey to endure and no need to carry a cricket bat. Golden memories of innocent childhood days.

Sunset Point, but not sunset

I’ll leave it there – I have to take Scout out for a (beach) walk, go see the sea, and anyway, I think I have something in my eye. I bet I’ve a cricket bat hidden away somewhere. Might need it post-COVID when siblings come visiting. Oh no, don’t think that! To play cricket, of course. Genteel, remember?

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Published by

plaidcamper

I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

16 thoughts on ““I can see the sea!””

  1. There was a continuous gurgling of laughter in the room as I read this, pc. So hilarious! It started with “…their four boys – delightful children all – were about to be unleashed….” You brought back memories of my own days in the stuffed-to-the-gills family car on road trips. Your trips to the sea at Devon or Cornwall or the other UK spots sounded dreamy until the reality of a family of four boys came into focus. Loved hearing about the fighting and elbowing, and each reference to the angelic boys had me laughing even harder. Terrific post, my friend, and lovely photos of the sea you now enjoy.

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    1. Thanks, Jet! Even though we are all older and wiser – and almost capable of extended civility – I don’t think we could manage a road trip together in one vehicle… I wouldn’t dream of suggesting it – and I’m sure my mum wouldn’t get in the car!
      Glad to hear you enjoyed this one, and that it brought back some memories.

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  2. That brought back memories of my brother and I going with parents or grandparents to the cottage, “how far is it?” The anticipation, first glimpse of the lake waters, the smell, the exploring. after summer we would count the time until Christmas , then back to waiting for summer, though there were lots of moments in between to keep us entranced and motivated. Our dog ran and sniffed his way to heaven and back , collapsing on the living room floor to recuperate for about a week after we returned home. Probably our parents, too. Thanks for that, and the beautiful photos as well.

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  3. Loved the trip down Memory Lane picturing the four little angels!! I laughed imagining the four of you pouring out of the car and that unspoken rule of anything short of broken bones as chaos hit the beach. I find it’s getting worse during middle age, but these type of long ago memories are guaranteed to lead to misty eyes. Thanks for not only sharing these wonderful memories, but the fact that they made me think of a few from my childhood. There is something very special about those golden childhood memories. Although, I did not enjoy remembering our family station wagon that became my first car when I received my license. Oh, how I wish it had been a cool old classic car.

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    1. Thank you, and I’m happy to hear it prompted some misty eyed memories of your own! I think it must be a rule of parenting that if you pass a car on to your children, it has to be the most crappily uncool vehicle ever. With that said, I’ve started to look back at vehicles I couldn’t stand the sight of forty-plus years ago, and now I think “hmm, could be a classic?” Not the Morris Marina though, that is still a sh*t car we got crammed into back in the day. I don’t think it got sold in the US.

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  4. How lovely to join you down Memory Lane PC. I can remember doing and saying exactly the same thing “I can see the sea” and I’d be so excited, sitting in the middle of my brother and sister in the back seat. I couldn’t wait to get out!! Thanks for jogging some nice thoughts and for the gorgeous pics! 🙂

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  5. You reminded me of my own childhood days! Such simple pleasures… even while squabbling with siblings. Ours used to be the edge of the city that tapers into the vast sea. Just like yours, the ride till we reach our destination was full of elbowing and tantrums. But I do miss those days. Thanks for making me remember those.

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