Life by the Sea.
We have recently moved by the sea. When I say by the sea, I mean a 2 minute bike ride; a 5 minutes walk. So close that you can smell it. Now I've always been close, within a few miles, but never really thought about it. Never appreciated it. Until now.
My other job, as a Civil Engineer, demands me to travel; but it is always in the other direction from the beach. So although we are so close,I don't get to see it everyday.
Today, I had two touch-screen tests for my CE job. The test centre is in the middle of town, and on the drive there, there was car after car; person after person rushing around. Roads packed and footpaths littered with people shuffling around in the cold, as though they had never been outside before. All with faces like the world's problems are their own. Then there was me; driving along, going over questions in my head in preparation for my tests. At the same time wondering if was possible to be in a busy town, and not get the same feeling as everyone else around you - no manners, brushing past others as if it is too much trouble to take a slight step to the left, or that the millisecond they saved by not stepping to the right is vitally important to their weekend mission. So getting to the test centre was actually a relief. As I walk in and close the door, the atmosphere of the busy and mannerless town eases off and the waiting room full of nervous faces seems like a relaxing place. I look out of the window and see all the chaotic rushing, but minus the noise. Take a deep breath and prep myself.
So, test done. Double pass. Result.
And now back out into the chaos. I fast pace back to the car and get on my way home. But I decide not to drive through town, but to drive to the seafront. See, we live right at the end, and the town centre is closer to the other end. So my decision for this route will grace me with the pleasure of around 3-4 miles of sea front, alongside the promenade. As I drive past the funfair at one end, one of my favourite Beatles songs comes on the radio (Little Help From my friends). This relaxes me and the memory of the town goes away. As I'm driving along, I notice how busy the seafront is, but it isn't a 'rushing-around' busy. It is a pleasant affair, dog walkers, joggers, bike riders and people with their families. Maybe it is true that the sea air can bring relaxation. The distance from the town centre to the seafront isn't far at all, but seems like a different world all together.
I begin to soak up the surroundings as I travel behind the Learner driver in front.
The Fair, past Mozzarella Joe's restaurant (an old favourite of ours); then the Blue Reef Aquarium, tennis club, skate park, Southsea Castle, D-Day Museum, The Pyramids Centre and onto the Pier which is having a refurb. Then I'm going past a few little beach coffee shops. Then past the Model Village, pitch and putt. And finally as I drive around the bend towards our home, I go past Eastney swimming baths.
Wow what a list. I'm sure that I've missed a lot as well, but that is some idea of what is on offer by the sea. The point I'm making is that I've never really thought about all these places before. But now we are living here, things will change. We will definitely be using the tennis courts when the weather picks up. Just the other day we took the bikes for a ride along the beach.
Yes, it was cold. but the fresh air, compared to our old area, was a blessing, We never really used our bikes before, as the roads in town are not exactly bike friendly. It is the same as going for a run. Running around exhaust fumed streets doesn't do much for your motivation. Yet when you lace up your running shoes, and head to the seafront, taking in the sea air, you seem to get a boost.
"So many people take things for granted.
For me, especially today, I consider myself very lucky to live where I am."
The seafront has a lot more to offer than just the beach in the summer, and now I am starting to realise this fact. Obviously I cannot wait for the Summer to be here to enjoy it. But for now I am content with what the Winter coast has to offer.