As Lauren can testify, I nearly went into hysterics when I saw my first stretch of Cornish beach. The one thing I regret more than anything else about living in London is that it's not on the coast. Having grown up in a town a few minutes drive from sweeping sandy beaches and living in Wellington, with its harbour and bays, for most of the last few years in New Zealand, I love being near the sea.
Which is one of the reasons why I loved Cornwall so much. People who say the UK has no good beaches are twits. True, they don't have nearly as many as New Zealand, so the ones they do have get packed in summer, but Cornwall is studded with gorgeous little harbours.
But much as I love the sea and have spend a lot of time swimming and bodyboading in it, it does freak me out a bit. I think it's the idea of being in this alien enviroment with brutal, pounding waves and vast depths. Maybe I'd end up like this ship we saw on the way to Land's End. Am I alone in this fear of the great blue yonder?
It's kind of like gulls. Listening to their calls is relaxing and watching them float on the breeze is beautiful. But they really are psychotic. Ever seen them fight over scraps, or peck at a wounded bird? The British ones are worse than the ones back home - bigger and with these yellow eyes that look more than a little insane. No wonder Lauren thinks there's a global seagull consipracy.