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I'm Jane McIntyre, a voiceover and writer, formerly an award-winning BBC radio newsreader and producer. My blog covers life, love and loss; travel, coffee and chocolate; with some heartfelt pieces in the mix about my late dad, who had dementia. Just a click away, I'm half of the team behind - two empty nesters who whizzed round the world in 57 days.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Postcard to the seaside

Dear Aberdovey,

I`m sending you this from Shrewsbury.

Much as I love you, I did, during my drizzly drive to see you yesterday, consider turning back. Or hopping out at the market in Machynlleth and not bothering with the beach.

But I persevered, knowing that I had waterproofs, walking boots and wellies in the car. Braced for `bracing`; I`d take you as I found you.

Just a few minutes and one meander more, I got that first, breathtaking glimpse of the estuary....and the sun was glinting on the water. A few more miles and I was driving slowly through your main street; crowds to the left of me; ice creams to the right. I was late on parade.

As someone used to enjoying your empty expanse of sand in icy midwinter; in gales, and best of all, in term time, I wondered whether I`d be walking, or weaving through windbreaks. The first stretch was filling up with families setting up base camp, clambering out of clothes, grabbing sneaky sausage rolls meant `for later`.

I kicked off my shoes and headed towards the water, gazing out at distant dinghies with Dairylea sails and cocktail stick masts. Past `Oi! Emma!`, and `Come on, Caspaahh!` and `Awww CHLO-WEeeeee....!` screaming at the sea as it touched their toes. On and on, to where the sand was smooth--just little sticky gulls`marks , a few tiny toddler prints, and deep, paw-shaped dents; dogs desperate to dash after sticks in the water ; shaking salty droplets over owners on the shore.

I looked back at the now tiny terrace of houses along the sea front; a higgledy cake-stand of sweet, fondant fancies,vying for selection. Way behind them, over the hills, huge, still uncertain clouds in Mr Whippy shaped swirls kept watch. I turned my back on them and walked towards the blue, the August sun hot and steady now, but cooled by a breeze brisk enough to keep kites aloft and the tiny sails proudly puffed.

Wiggling myself into a soft, sandy dip by the dunes I could watch families from a distance; playing, squabbling; screams and laughter muted by the whooshing whitenoise of sea and wind; each family a neat frame of film through my shades, all stars in a state of the art silent movie. I lay back; drifting, dozing.........until the rumble, then roar of a fighter jet pierced through my slumber and forced me to open my sun-blind eyes...metal scything through the blue-silk sky like a haberdasher`s blade.....its deafening dominance tempered by its tilt--incongruously coy.

It vanished; replaced by the soft whoosh of waves and wind again,willing me to be lulled back into my seaside snooze.

But that was my 4.30 alarm call. I`m wide awake enough to know that my ticket`s expired. I scramble to my feet and stumble back up the beach, fumbling in my pockets for what I wish were the keys to a seafront home of my own, not a baking hot car. Driving, I muse over how much fun it must be for locals to reclaim their sand, their sea and their silence .....once Caspahhh and Chlo-WEEee have headed home for their tea.

So that`s it. The end of my postcard from landlocked Shrewsbury to Aberdovey. Just to say thanks for a great day out. Loads of love; wish I was there, etc. And if it`s ok with you, I probably will be again, quite soon. Save me a fondant fancy, eh?

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