A week has passed by and with it a change in the weather, so I can no longer be thankful to the 'oh so amazing' warm sun and breeze that grazed my skin (still thankful for the spell that we did enjoy) this time last week, not that I am complaining now, we are officially in 'Autumn' weather, crisp but (thankfully) dry which is very pleasant in it's own right.
But I am thankful that I made the most of it when it was here however, no more so than the beautiful evening I decided to make a late afternoon visit to the park. Now we live in a seaside town. Some people would dislike this, turn their nose up at it, call it tacky, whatever. But I love it and so do my family as we have all seem to have mostly migrated here.
I used to live in an industrial town. And although of course there are a lot worse places in the country that I could have been born it was not the most pleasant of places to live. It was fine, certainly, but there wasn't an abundance to do as a child, not like the wealth of activities available to my children now living here. There was no where pretty to walk, not really anything to make the effort to go and see and until the arrival of the leisure centre when I was about 10, nothing to do unless you could get to the next town. On the way home from holidays (usually taken in the seaside town in which I now live) it was all downhill and with each hill taken my heart used sink, the holiday was over, now the view was of the power station and listening to the go-karts whining around a nearby bit of scrap land every Sunday.
That was my view as a child anyway. And now although sometimes I miss the whining of the go-karts on a Sunday because when I do hear anything similar I am filled with nostalgia of desperately waiting for Sunday Lunch whilst the smell of burnt rubber also filled the air, I do not miss living there for all the reasons mentioned already. But the fact that I did live somewhere like that does make me appreciate where I live now.
I mostly appreciate it when I go out walking, instead of walking along a busy main road, with grey smoke being pumped into the air I can now walk along a lovely seafront. Don't get me wrong, it is not the prettiest bit of coastline the UK boasts, not by any means, it doesn't have the most wonderful sandy beaches like Cornwall (although the next little town about 20 minutes would give it a run for it's money), the best pier ever or a great town centre (generally that part is quite grim being brutally honest, mostly avoided where possible).
But it is beautiful to me because along with the allure of the sea (always being an elusive mystery to me; how does it just - stop? How does it control all of that power it holds? Why does it give so much pleasure to so many people, yet take the lives of others whether it is given or stolen?) but philosophical stuff aside, it is where I spent the happiest parts of my childhood and I am reminded of that every time I walk out, whatever the time of year. It's great after Christmas dinner to wrap up and go and take in a bit of striking sea air, and it certainly brushes away those sleepy post-dinner nap requirements!
But I was reminded of it so strongly the other day after that late afternoon visit to the park I noted at the start of this post, that it is still making me smile now just remembering it, and I suspect it will for a long time. Just the fact that it was still shorts and vest weather in October was enough to make the nation smile, but strolling back from a trip to the park filled with the sound of my babies laughter (the park is still a fascinating new and exciting freedom to him), I was reminded it was in fact October, by how quickly the light of the day dropped away and I found myself walking home in the dark.
I decided to walk the seafront as it is the safest route home, and I am so glad I did, the sea front was still a buzz with people chilling on the grass verges on picnic blankets, and couples strolling leisurely with their dogs, normally a task done briskly in thick cardi and quite possibly a scarf in usual October climates. The street lights were coming on, the red marker lights were shining bolding on the Wind Turbines out at sea and the Pier was twinkling with all the rides outlined in little bulbs, making it look like a wonderland (always did to me as a child) with the Helter Skelter standing tall and proud, the centrepiece, it really was a beautiful sight to be seen. It was heart-warming to see lots of people enjoying the seaside in a month when it has usually become redundant to the tourists. And I was thankful to think with a rye smile 'Yep, this is where we live'.
I just hope that my children can appreciate it as much as I do. If they don't I am taking them back to where I used to live for a dose of reality about how lucky they are, so watch out boys!