Hello folks. This week's topic is the beach.
I'm not a huge beach fan, as far as tropical beaches are concerned. I don't dream of rubbing oil on myself and basking for hours in the sun, not least as my mother (an olive oil sun bather in the 70s and 80s) constantly has to have pre-cancerous patches burned off her. Cultivating melanoma isn't my idea of fun, and I'm just not good at doing nothing for very long. Finally, reading is hard in the sun what with all the glare.
But I do love the BEACH. And by that, I mean the rugged, rocky coastlines of places like Maine. Setting Jane's books in Maine was partly because I wanted to pay homage to the beauty of the place.
So I was thrilled to visit Whitby, on the northern shore of England. It was my ultimate beach, AND the landing site of Dracula's ship. But just like in Maine, it's the kind of place that should have something supernatural lurking around its edges.
Mostly when I'm at a place like Whitby, I wander around and stare. I smell the air and watch the crashing waves. I wander out to see the sea at different tides, and then I wander back in to take notes on whatever inspired me.
For that's what the sea is, to me: it's inspiration. Something I'm in awe of. Something that's beautiful, and a little frightening. Something that's not ours to control. Something that lives up to its legends, as so few things do.
Wordsworth called such things sublime, and that's how I like my beaches. Less coconut oil and more sublime.