Really should have known that what I mean by 'nice walk on the beach' and what hardcore Sally means by 'nice walk on the beach' have a never the twain shall meet gulf between them. After a chilled and fun New Year's Eve gathering with friends (hardcore Sally included) followed by a great cooked breakfast with same friends I embarked on said walk along the beach, without first checking the weather forecast - foolhardy move. It wasn't simply the driving horizontal rain that stung the cheeks, the gale force winds that we at times struggled to stand up in (a bit like this) and the fact that not a part of my clothing or body was dry after only five minutes, what amused me in the midst of this was the total difference in outlook. Sally was in her element, overjoyed by the interesting colours in the sea and the horizon* and invigorated by the 'bracing' (ahem) weather. I, on the other hand, was on survival alert (desperately hoping for a quaint, cosy tea house to miraculously emerge out of the sand flats**) and my modus operandi was safe mode, still functioning, still chatting to her (very nice) friends along the way but only half operating.
Likewise, the couple of times I have been asked what my New Year's resolutions are for 2012 all that comes to mind is 'survival'. This is not for any dramatic life-at-risk reason just that the year ahead is already looking so hectic, papers to research and write, countries to visit, and then again and again, topped with a conference to organise. Perhaps, though, 2012 has started as it intends to go on; if so, despite the bleak weather and survival mode, the day was spent with nice people, punctuated by good conversation and a welcome cup of hot chocolate, and ended with a delicious home-cooked meal (courtesy of my mum - promised to put that bit in) and a blissfully hot bath, maybe the year will follow a similar pattern.
* the beach today - crystal clear skies, shimmering turquoise sea etc
(photo by Sally)
** or, alternatively in lieu of a tea house, something like this:
Happy New Year!
UPDATE: The next day hardcore Sally went back to the beach and as she said: what a difference 24 hours makes...
(photos by Sally A)