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Family and the sea

Somehow, somewhere I have stitched together the sea with the notion of family, so that I now cannot imagine the waves lapping at the shore without hearing the crunch of footsteps behind me - my parents foraging for driftwood, one or two dogs darting around our feet and Tom striding along, gazing out to sea. My parents live a couple of roads back from the seafront so a visit to them almost always involves a stroll on the beach, and our weekend walks by the sea closer to home are always with Tom and Bodhi, my slightly smaller, day-to-day version of a family unit.

In some ways my associations with family are so because the sea feels like home.  I have never lived far from the sea and so the call of circling seagulls and the roar of the tide feel comfortable and reassuring, like a favourite blanket or a memento from your hometown.  Feeling sea air on my face and salt on my tongue feels like walking through my front door, there is calm through familiarity.

So it goes without saying that our visit to my parents' house over Christmas was not without a long stroll along the beach.  Coats were pulled on, dogs were bundled into the car and our eyes, dulled by incessant rain were awakened by the first day of sun in what felt like weeks.

The sun glistened and bounced off the ripple-pressed sand.  Stones, glossy, smooth and wet under our boots.  The patter of dog paws on wet sand, making tiny imprints as they fly along together.

Beach at Hill Head
Tom and Geese

My parents and Tom spent their time searching for beachcombed treasures, hoping that a landslide might have exposed a dinosaur fossil or some other relic from the past.

The beach feels alive with creatures of all sizes who have been tempted out by the promise of sunshine and cornflower blue skies.  Geese glide by, honking at the seagulls gently bobbing on the waves.  Dogs gallop towards other dogs, gasping in the sea air and barking with excitement.

Geese flying
Three dogs

Bodhi and Henry as always, have a whale of a time, gleefully running along the beach.  Henry goes much further out into the water, chasing seagulls.  Bodhi is always waiting for him on his return.  They make tracks through the shallow shoreline, water spraying and splashing behind them in identical arcs.

Henry back to Bodhi
Bodhi and Henry

It warms my heart to spend this time together with some of the people that matter the most.

Bodhi, Henry, Mum, Dad, Tom
Mum and Dad

As the sunshine dips behind clouds and wanes with the onset of the afternoon, long shadows are cast and we looked like giants as we ambled back to two cars that would soon be full of stolen sand and soggy dogs.

Tom's boots

It was a wonderful day and a perfect opportunity to blast the cobwebs away.  I will certainly be making the most of our beautiful surroundings and going for more beach walks over the coming months.  I can't wait for the warmer sunshine and longer days to arrive - a spring/summer punctuated with more family time, more salty-seaside air and a few obligatory ice creams will be perfection indeed.

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19 comments

  1. Such gorgeous photos Rosie. I wish I lived closer to a beach to be able to do this :)

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  2. I never realised how much I'd miss the beach until I moved up to London!

    What breed of dog is Henry? He's particularly lovely :)

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    1. Henry is actually the same as Bodhi, a schnoodle, I think they have different mixes in their breeds though as they don't look 100% similar! :)

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  3. Ohh, the sea is magic! I wish I was lucky enough to live near :)
    You write beautifully Rosie

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  4. Lovely photos...my parents live near the sea as well.....must be a parent thing!! ;)

    http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk

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  5. These are some beautiful pictures, and I totally understand the feeling of coming home, though mine is tromping across open fields :) I really should spend more time by the sea though, I visit the coast each month for a VW club meet but rarely venture down onto the sand, next time I will! xx

    www.thelibrarian.co.uk

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  6. The sea always feels like home to me too, and especially as these photos have that backdrop of Esso refinery in the background - just a few minutes from my parents home! Calshot and Lepe were always our haunts, aswell as the woods that back on to the house. Really lovely words in this post Rosie, and gorgeous photos too xx

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  7. I wish I lived closer to the sea, it must be so nice just to stroll down in the sunshine at the weekend (weather permitting!)

    http://www.excusemeforawhile.com/

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  8. You're making me want to run away to the sea Rosie!
    Sophie
    X

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  9. Oo I completely agree with all the above, I wish I lived close to a beach. For the summer months as well as the winter. I love love love the last photo! How the sand changes from the jagged bumps to soft and smooth - the sun glow beaming - and the silhouette of feet. Perfect.

    Laura xx

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  10. I was there again, Rosie. Beautiful photos and words for a day to be remembered. xx

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  11. You are so lucky to have the sea so close :) These pictures are adorable. What a wonderful day

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  12. Beaches are the best! I sometimes prefer them when the weather has been a little dull, they always look much prettier. x

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  13. What a beautiful post, Rosie :) You have such a way with words and these photographs made me miss the sea too, which is very much 'home' to me also.
    Bella xxx
    howdoesitfeeltobe.com

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  14. Beautiful pictures Rosie, the last one is so nice. I like things like this and like you I adore the sea and the beach, everything feels so refreshing there and often whilst listening to the waves and sea gulls things don't always seem so bad; I find it to be a therapeutic place.
    Amy x | A Little Boat Sailing

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  15. Wow your photos are amazing in this post! I don't think I could choose between being on a beach or being on a mountain as my favourite place but the beach is a little more accessible at home :)
    Kerry x

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  16. You're so lucky to be able to do this :)

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Thank you in advance for your lovely comments, they mean the world to me! If you have a question or want to get in touch, tweet me at @rosieoutlook.