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Quitting the Rat Race

Retiring to Live by the Sea and Write Books – My Fake Journal – Episode 1

(Since I can’t sell my house at the moment because of lockdown, I’ve already starting living my new life in my head – here’s how this imaginary morning went.)

The cat was still hiding under the bed when I woke up this morning, she’s still not used to the new place – it’s brand new you see; so nothing has any familiarity to either of us yet. The bed’s nice. My back is definitely loosening up after the stress of moving over the past couple of weeks.

I pull open the curtains and a seagull on the caravan behind me squawks. ‘Jesus that one’s bigger than Willow.’ I grab my new Fenty leggings from the wardrobe knob and grab a tee-shirt out of the drawer. It’s so nice just being able to grab something and chuck it on rather than wading through a mountain of stuff I don’t recognise (or wear).

I do the bathroom stuff. The floor’s not like a Siberian morgue in this place – I’m going to like that in December. The cat pops into her new litter house – at least she knows where that is. I open the window a tiny bit and make a swift exit.

I walk about the caravan opening curtains and tying them back and test Willows window hammock before she dives into it for the day – we had some ‘incidents’ with it the other day but she’s persevering with it. This give her a view of the ridiculously long beach, where people are already walking dogs and children. I ‘smile-huff’ when I see two Daschies off the leash running in front of each other – ears flapping wildly.

I make up my fizzy supplement, knock it back like a shot and slip on my trainers. I debate whether or not I need a coat but I never do. Every time I take one, I end up carrying it back. I slide a few coins off the kitchen counter and stuff them into the pouch in my leggings as I leave.

The weather was fair last night so there was no sand to sweep off the deck this morning and I grab my staff from under the caravan. ‘Yep, definitely turning into female Gandalf.’ – it’s a comfort-quirk thing I think, don’t ask me.

The steps down to the beach are deep so my little stumpies get a stretch on the way down. I start a gentle stride to the beach cafe – about three quarters of a mile right. All the sand is flat – not fluffy white sand like you see in the movies – which is why it’s so popular with so many. Very easy to walk on. It’s also known for it’s sunsets. I pondered this, surely any picture take of a beach has beauty in some way. I pictured a rainstorm on the horizon a few weeks back when I was staying at my aunties caravan. The pictures were spectacular.

It’s mid-September so there’s a bit of a nip in the air but I’ve never been very functional in the heat. By time I get to the cafe I’ll be sweatin’. I wave at a lady and her white bull terrier who I met yesterday. The tide’s out so she’s a way away, I doubt she recognizes me but she waves back anyway.

For the rest of the journey I’m focused on my breath – the air going in and going out. Something I learned a couple of years ago – it’s a way of focusing on the ‘right now’ instead of the whole stress of moving the last few weeks and jobs I still need to do after the move. It’s just me and the beach.

When I get to the beach cafe I walk up the stone ramp and into the shop. The coffee bit is way way in the back, so I walk past the shelves of souvenirs, postcards and windbreakers and windmills and order my coffee to go. The cafe dog, a giant poodle cross (I think), sweeps past the back of my leg on his way outside – inspecting my staff. ‘Not a stick, mate’ I remark to him as he wanders past. I pay for my coffee and go back out front where there are massive round benches that seat eight a piece.

I forgot my tablet, so no writing this morning. No biggie really – this is just one of a few beach walks I do every day. Instead I wrap my hands around the cup and just stare out at the water. The tide’s coming in. There are a couple of kids climbing on the giant rocks in the cave. Well, it’s not really a cave; more an indentation in the cliff about six metres deep. How deep does an indentation need to be before it’s classed a cave? Such was my pondering.

I stand my staff upright and slide out of the fixed bench seat and chuck the cup into the bin on the way down to the beach and back home. Note to self: Should have brought my own mug.

On my way back, I toy with different methods of mindful walking. Listening to my feet on the sand or the sound of my staff poking the sand every couple of steps. I strain for sounds of the sea but it’s too far out. Then I listen to a couple of seagulls squabbling over a plastic bag. They skedaddle as I walk towards them, and I pick up the bag.

When I get back to ‘my steps’ I put the bag the seagulls found into the bin and when I get to my caravan I see Willow at one of the side windows. She’s found her way under the window net to watch me put my wooden staff under the caravan and walk to open the door. Inside I slide off my trainers, open the nets at the front window so I have a landscape view of the sea coming in. I sit down at my little breakfast nook, open my laptop, and start to write.

Author of 'My Big Fat...Fat' out now on Amazon

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