Saturday, 27 August 2011


The sky arches expansively above me, pale blue softened by streaks of hazy white cloud. It dips down onto the gentle waves ruffling the surface of an emerald green sea. They break onto a wide golden beach that curves for miles in either direction.

Looking forward I strain to make out a rocky outcrop glistening with dark fronds of seaweed, so recently engulfed by the water fast retreating from the beach. Behind me are the towers of a power station, made toytown tiny by distance. They glower over their supplanters, gigantic wind turbines turning lazily in the breeze.

I watch as my feet make lonely tracks on the soft sand, each footstep perfectly measured from the last. My breath coming fast with the effort of running along beside the waves. I push myself to run as fast as I can from one patch of slimy seaweed to the next. I pull out my headphones to savour the sound of the wind rushing past my ears, the water lapping and slapping on the sand.

I train my eyes on some distant landmark and push my pace up a notch to reach it faster. As sweat drips into my eyes stinging them with its salty tang, my legs pulse beneath me keeping up a constant rhythm. I feel my muscles respond and keep propelling me ever forward to the next dune spiky with sea grass, to the next rock beached with its coating of slick barnacles clinging on until the tide rises once again.

I push my body onwards, my mind freed by this simple physical exertion to drink in the delightfully bleak and beautiful landscape. I am alone. It is the one luxury I crave amidst my busy family and the one that has been returned to me by rediscovering to my pre-children passion for running.

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