Coming soon to a bookstore near you.

Sometimes, if not often, it is achingly difficult to write about what you love. The tabby cat sits curled by my knees, I lie covered by an old crochet throw and it’s raining. I’ve been wondering for hours how to put this last week into words.

Let me write this. That today we drove away from the small fishing town we had been allowed to call home for one glorious week; as the five of us loaded the boots and checked under beds for runaway shoes, there was a fitting bite to the air. Autumn on our heels. By the time we had rolled through the string of towns laced corset-like to the highway – towns with pleasingly evocative Saxon names like Grundisburgh, Dallinghoo and Saxmundham – a fine drizzle had appeared and summer seemed a far-off memory. Another of those mislaid possessions under the bed.

A novelist could not have plotted it better. Family and assorted friends who feel like relatives, and relatives who feel like friends, spend glorious week by the seaside – relishing 25 degree days, mid-afternoon swims aplenty, in a towering house just minutes from the sea.

Days are filled with swimming, walking and riding rusted bicycles along the coastal road. They eat well: smoked fish from wind-beaten huts on the shingle, tart cider brewed with local apples, salted caramel ice cream cones, coffee and croissants with jam in the morning. Friends from near and far drop by to join in on these magnificent feasts. One such friend just


to own a sea kayak anchored in the park opposite the beach house, so on the very last evening – a twilight draped in molten sunshine – they lug the boat towards the shore and revel in the last hours of a golden summer atop a shiny blue sea.

Waking up on the final morning, the wind has turned bracing, the air is cool. Said family drive away in the early morning light, sad to say goodbye, but happy that summer has concluded with such happiness and warmth. Novelist delights at her skilled use of pathetic fallacy. 

But this is no novel, of course. All this really happened and I’m left thanking my lucky stars (and gorgeous family/friends/Mother Nature) for a week brimming with so much fun that I am forced to pinch myself, just to check it really did come to pass.