Having been to a few quiet, beautiful and empty seaside places recently I thought I should show you something of the other side of things, the things I had deliberately tried to avoid. The British seaside holiday is long established and is embedded in the national identity just as much as cream teas, queuing, class distinction, fish and chips and, an inability to use apostrophes correctly! Ever since workers from Britain's industrial cities were granted holidays they have swarmed to the very edges of the country in the hope of a little sunshine, a little extravagance and a lot of complaining. I'm slightly embarrassed to say that the seaside holiday has become as much a part of my country's engrained culture as standing stones, cathedrals and cricket.
Not far from where I live is one of those former Victorian seaside resorts that is still clinging on to the past that it undoubtedly has and the future it probably doesn't. I have always thought of Burnham on Sea as 'The Last Resort'. My parents used to take me there, and all my friends, when it was my birthday. 'That's nice', I hear you all say. Well, my birthday is at the end of January and at that time of year Burnham is empty, bleak, windy, cold and dingey. Going to Burnham in winter is like seeing a majestic ocean liner half way through a refit; it's still the same shape and still the same thing but looks nothing like you want it to.
I seem to have kicked over Burnham's sand castle. Let's build it up again. I really enjoyed being there on Sunday. The sun was shining and it had a 'life' to it that most of the other places I had visited recently lacked. It's definitely got some great redeeming features and I hope I managed to capture a few of them with my camera.
There was such a wonderful sky
I got this horribly wrong, but I actually like the end result. Obviously, the tiny shell was supposed to be in focus but I was a little too close to it and the clearest part of the picture is the sand just behind it instead.
The beach lighthouse with another one poking through the undergrowth behind it.
Because I'd just worked out how to take sepia photographs.
Deliberately bad stitch of the beach.
This was not a set up, the chair was just there.
Nearer to the main, popular part of the beach, the sea wall.
This is my friend William. I ran into him and his parents, Becky and David walking along the beach. It's William's third birthday today. Happy birthday, Will. I'm going to his birthday party on Saturday.
Burnham boasts (if that's the right word) the shortest pier in Britain. I think that says a lot!
Under the shortest pier in Britain.
Not many takers for donkey rides on the beach.
If you click on this to make it bigger and look at the boy in blue in the background he is actually in mid-air having just let go of the top of the sea wall - oooh an action photo!
Some people, David and Will for instance, don't take as much notice of warning signs as, perhaps, they should.
So, that was Burnham. There were more people around than you might imagine from seeing these photos and, as I say, I actually enjoyed being there.
I think I should go back inland for a while now.