I didn't think there would be anyone around. I thought I'd have the place to myself. I mean, who goes to the seaside early in the morning on Easter Sunday? I imagined that the answer to that question would be, 'photographers, people who can't lie awake in bed when it's sunny outside, me.' That was why I decided to pop down to Lyme Regis on the Dorset coast. I thought I would have it all to myself, that I would be able to wander around and take arty photos of seaside stuff without having to worry about who was about. Of course, I expected the odd masochistic runner, other photographer and lots of seagulls, but beyond that, surely no-one would be so foolish.
I need to re-evaluate my opinions. I got down to Lyme and found the little car park closest to the beach full. I hadn't bargained on that. I found shops selling seaside tat open and doing a roaring trade, cafes opening for business or already busily preparing eggs and bacon, the beach - while not crowded - busier than I would have liked. It seems that I was far from the only one to want to hit the seaside early.
Lyme Regis is a beautiful little place and I've been there several times in the past couple of years to take pictures. It seems to have lots of different aspects to it and is one of those places that serves lots of purposes and does lots of 'jobs'. I like it. Most memorably, last August, I took my friend Monika there and she loved it. I'll never forget the look on her face as we wandered down over the hill. The beach was suddenly laid out before us. The height of the holiday season was just beginning to fade away but there were still loads of people enjoying being by the seaside. Monika delighted in walking barefoot through the sand, in taking photos and enjoying the sunshine. That is such a happy memory that now, every time I go back to Lyme, I think of it and the huge smile on her face, that wide-eyed wonder and that childlike glee at living a simple but very special moment.
So, here's Lyme at Easter, early, windless, sunny and quite serene.