Essex by the sea

We stayed at Mum and Dad’s for two days longer than we anticipated. The finale was inviting a couple of their friends around for supper which went well. Our stay has not been without stresses and strains for too many reasons to illuminate here, but C and I did manage two purple patches: a run down the beach at Point Clear on Tuesday and yesterday shopping in Colchester followed by a picnic at Brightlingsea and a walk down the beach. Both of these with Mrs Sun doing her damnedest to brown our knees. Fab.

Brightlingsea

Brightlingsea

If you don’t know Essex it’s worth a trip – certainly the seaside bit. Lots of half timbered houses, most of which look like they’re about to fall into the sea. Yes it’s the tourist centre for the East End and there are more caravan sites that you can shake an awning pole at. And the sand is that browny green colour that invites you to put on your wellies and dig for worms rather than don your bathing suit and surf the waves. But it’s rustic and unpretentious.

Except Clacton. I guess you can imagine what Clacton is like. It’s actually slightly more worn than the image in your mind and, as we were reminded of this week, full of the elderly. Which is fine – we are just a few years away from the dribbling stage – but pouring a load of old folk (a good number of whom come with an attached mobility scooter) into a single town slows the pace even further below the one we’ve been looking for. Add in twenty charity shops, a number of pawn brokers, betting shops and money lenders and it’s not an attractive place. Oh well…

picnic with friends

picnic with friends

Colchester on the other hand, a place where C and I grew up together, is far more impressive. It has a castle, the Essex look of olde worlde houses – none straight and a few close to toppling into the street, a good shopping centre and a vibrancy brought about by being a Garrison Town (I would say that, wouldn’t I) where the place has to keep up with the soldierly youth. Unfortunately C couldn’t find any clothes to buy and has now given up. For the moment…

Off to Mary’s today. And I know you all follow sport: well done to the English cricket team and the women’s football team. Soooo looking forward to the Ashes.

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