I'm a city girl at heart. There is no escaping that truth. The filthy smog, heaving Central line carriages, dull grey skyscrapers cowering under dull grey clouds, I love it all. You can take me to any lush green backdrop and somehow I will find myself lost in metropolis. However, there are times when London feels like a little too much for my nerves. Have you ever felt that? You just have to be "on" all the time and there never seems to be a moment to yourself to do... nothing. That's exactly what I was thinking while stuck in traffic, aching to do something spontaneous. Rather than going to Columbia Road, we made a swift U-turn and found ourselves on an impromptu visit to Clacton.
If you're a Londoner, chances are the last time you went to Clacton was when you were forced to be strapped into a coach seat by a fretful primary school teacher. I promise you, the experience as an adult is nothing like it! Yes, sticks of rock and rides by the pier felt a little nostalgic, but now I noticed other things too. I'm not as resistant to the gusts of wind that I used to chase as a child and I'm not sure why I never paid attention to those fuchsia pink sunsets over the horizon either. The sound of waves crashing against the shore too. I couldn't even remember the last time my bare feet touched the ground, let alone the sand. It's one of the sad costs of being a city kid: nature seems so far beyond our reach sometimes.
My rendezvous was sweet and simple. As it was a last minute decision and we only had three hours until golden hour, I don't think I did half as much as Clacton had to offer. Fat chips and a piece of cod slathered in as much salt and vinegar as my stomach lining to handle (tartar sauce to boot) and fairground donuts that were so soft they crumbled at the touch were the highlights of my evening. With all the hubbub in my life, it was nice to escape and have a peaceful moment to myself.