I love the sea. Having spent most of my childhood breathing in salty air, it is strange to now live in a country with no coast. Our recent family reunion was therefore extra-special for being by the sea despite it being a distinctly British holiday. I know Britain does not normally conjure up images of sunny sands and cocktails with umbrellas but it just doesn’t need to. In all its overcast glory, the British coastline has the ability to make you feel relaxed and happy even if you are fully clothed.
On our first day in North Yorkshire, we ventured into Whitby, a beautiful, old, ship-building town that once waved goodbye to Captain James Cook long before Australia’s sunny shores were discovered. The drizzly, grey weather did not stop me enjoying the colourful quay, the serenity of the ancient harbour and the feeling of the wind whipping my hair around my face. Ok, maybe I didn’t enjoy the whipping but for nostalgia’s sake, I thought I did momentarily.
Standing by the lighthouse on one of the weathered entrance piers, I realised that I was looking out at the North Sea, a new sea for me. Just across the way were Denmark and Germany! I then remembered that the only times I catch a whiff of anything like my childhood now is when I pass a Nordsee restaurant. I then imagined the long drive the fish must have had to get to Vienna and instantly wanted to find a fish’n’chip shop to top up on my fresh fish quota. Nothing like the greasy spoons we find inland, Whitby’s offerings were clean, comfortable and with good service to boot. I think the smile must have come across the Atlantic but it was still a nice surprise. Perhaps the same can cross the North Sea and trek inland to me.