We are in the throes of a heatwave here in the UK. It is 6am in the writing den and my temperature gauge is showing twenty-six degrees Celsius and rising. At times like this I long to be near water, especially the sea.
I spent my childhood and early teens in Whitehaven, a coastal coal mining and fishing town. Every morning when I opened my bedroom curtains I looked out onto the Irish Sea. Most of my working life in London was accompanied by a backdrop of the river Thames.
Fast forward to today and, somehow, I have managed to get myself landlocked. The village where I now live is situated in the middle of England and is in one of the furthest locations from the sea you can be. I’m longing for a sandy beach, a deck chair, and the feel of cold salty water splashing against my ankles.
As children, when heatwaves appeared, my parents would cram half the garage and us kids in the back of the car and drive a few miles to one of the better beaches. I still recall the sensation of air through an open car window sucking out my breath as we meandered through winding countryside roads; a surge of excitement seeing the brighter light, reflecting from the beach, as it lit up a horizon.
It started with a word - air - drifted into Dad's battered Morris Minor. A back seat crammed with kids and smarties As sunshine called mouths to open windows. Immature breath was snatched by salt trails Leaving behind faint traces of dunes and deck-chairs.
How do you survive a heatwave? Please share your tips in the comments section.