Shortcutting… The Beach

3 Jun

Picture acres of bright white sand, stretching out as far as the eye can see, hugging the calm green sea that sweeps gently over it. I don’t know about you, but I’m shuddering. Because there’s nothing I hate more than sand. There’s something about all those tiny little grains, be they yellow, white, black, or whatever exotic colour nature comes up with next, that have the power to get everywhere. They get under your nails, in your hair, in your shoes, in your sandwiches, and the harder you try to scrub them out, the further in they go. I swear to you, there is sand in my soul. But anyway, to return to the point of this post, I am on holiday this week (still English territory, but far away enough from London that I can persuade myself it isn’t), and, just my luck, this holiday involves going to the beach a lot, and coming face to face with my arch nemesis: sand. But, like everything else I discuss here, there are ways to improve the beach experience. Here’s how I’m coping:

Obviously my first task before I can look at any other aspect of the beach is to deal with the sand. I find that staying well away from the water is quite good, as it means the only sand I come into contact with is dry, and so comes off more easily. I also tend to wear a lot of clothes, which makes me not totally impervious to sand but well on the way (I appreciate that it is often impractical to wear a lot of clothes on a beach, but the ones here happen to be very windy and a little bit cold which makes them absolutely perfect for me). On the other hand, I’ve found that wearing closed shoes is a rather bad idea, as sand seems to find it very easy to get in and very hard to get out. I’m pretty sure I brought home half the beach in my Converse today. I’m also considering investing in some kind of sand brush so I can get the worst of it off more efficiently, but I’ll let you know how that goes.

So: sand sufficiently dealt with, we move on to seating arrangements. A mat is often a good idea (you can reuse the one I made you buy for your picnic), as it reduces sand contact and allows you to both sit and lie in relative comfort. Personally I quite like lying against a rock, as it gives my back that little bit of extra support, but I know some people find rocks to rocky. The best piece of beach equipment I came across today was a foldable chair, which was both incredibly comfortable and, so I hear, pretty easy to transport. That’s going on the shopping list too.

Finally, to minimise beach discomfort, don’t forget your sunglasses! And, on a less cool note, hat and suncream (but don’t despair, you’ll probably never see any of these people again)…

Remember, life’s a beach!

Keep shortcutting,


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