Buckle up, fellow readers, because we're leaving Pershore temporarily behind. Let's face it, these past few months have been pretty depressing when it comes to what we could and couldn't do because of our relentless nemesis, Covid-19. So I thought instead of giving another standard update about new rules and changes, I'd add a fresh backdrop to this article: the beach. Exmouth, to be precise. So let's get cracking.
Unfortunately, to ensure you have a good six or seven hours there, that meant setting an excruciatingly early alarm so that we could be out of the house in time. In this case “excruciatingly early” means six o'clock – which some might find a reasonable hour to get up. I remember waking up much earlier when I was nine or ten (I actually used to challenge myself to get up earlier and earlier just so I could watch TV or use the computer for longer in the mornings), but this left me with bags under my eyes and looking as though I wore eye shadow. Then, I hit thirteen and my entire approach to sleep changed. Nowadays, I'm like a sloth until at least half eight. Fortunately, I succeeded in getting up at the right time, shovelling down some Coco-Pops, and clambering into the car.
About half way there, we stopped off at a service station, where I was pleased to find that social distancing was being taken seriously. A one-way system was in place that snaked past WHSmith and Costa, ending at the feet of a McDonald's. There was enough space there for everyone to wait for their food and about ninety percent of the public wore face masks – one person even wore two. This pleased me enough that I didn't mind when I opened my McMuffin, leaning closer and squinting at it, to find it was a far cry from what had been displayed in the shop. Still, it was tasty all the same.
When we arrived, the beach at Exmouth was stunning. The scalloped sea polished the smooth sand, sunlight scintillating on its silvery crests. Then I got in.
On my way to the shore, a mum – who I didn't know – called me unprepared (my sister was tightly sealed into a wetsuit with matching protective footwear, resembling someone out of a superhero film) because I only had trunks on. Unprepared, I thought, of course I'm prepared.
I wasn't prepared. Why did I stubbornly put myself through slowly staggering into the sea as the icy water climbed higher and higher? My legs locked together, my lungs ached. Despite my body being numb, I had fun, it was a good swim.
Aside from a few markers outside the ice cream shop, you wouldn't have thought there was even such thing as Coronavirus. Thankfully, though, our beach had enough space for everyone to be a good few metres apart and the sea wasn't exactly packed with people. The day trip was great, exactly what I needed to spice up the week.
I recuperated with a quick sleep on the drive back. Only then, as we reached home, did I realise I'd forgotten the sun cream. I was practically glowing, I looked like I'd just come out of Chernobyl. Aside from that, I'm glad to have had such a refreshing day out. Hopefully, if a second peak is avoided, there will be many more to come.