22 Days at the Beach House

A good friend of mine lives in a beautiful new build coach house in the seaside village of Camber Sands, East Sussex. Camber is somewhere I head to in the warmer months to enjoy its wonderful sandy beach and picturesque sand dunes. Seeing as it’s only a ten minute drive from my house, it’s an easy journey to make, and I like to take my camera there to get shots at all times of the day and evening.

camberbeach4

My friend and her daughter at Camber Sands

At the start of my summer break from work, I went to visit my friend and her daughter at their lovely home, and my friend had a proposition for me. She asked if I would house sit for her, for 22 days, while she was away on holiday in the USA. Of course, I gladly accepted and moved in on 1st August.

The first thing that struck me about my temporary home was just how peaceful it was. The house itself is light and airy, set in a quiet neighbourhood, a few minutes walk from the beach. It did not take long at all to feel completely at home there. I brought my keyboard, laptop and camera along with me so that I could fully immerse myself in creativity during me stay. Being a poor twenty-something, still living at home, peace and quiet is not a luxury I get to enjoy very often, so I was intent on making the most of some alone time.

I spent my first full day inside, attempting to write a song. I did eventually manage to write one, and you can listen to the demo here. Unfortunately, as wonderful as this house is, the acoustics are just not right for recording, so I’ll have to re-record this at some point. I decided not to spend much more time songwriting, and instead decided to devote my time here to two things; photography, and “finding myself”.

My first trip to the beach with my camera was short-lived, mainly due to the blustering, wet winds that were throwing sea spray and sand at me as I walked along the shoreline. I had hoped to get some sunset shots, but I feared that the wet sand might damage my lens, so after snapping a few shots, I headed back to the house.

My next trip was a lot more successful. I headed out mid morning and walked all the way along the beach after climbing what can only be described as an epic sand dune. I ended up spending about two hours on the beach, taking photographs and enjoying my music. The strange thing was, that although the beach was teaming with tourists, running around in bikinis, building sand castles, and flying kites, I felt incredibly relaxed. Considering my idea of paradise is being completely alone without another human in sight, I was amazed at how calm and contented I felt wandering along the beach, my face a mess with sunscreen and sand.

I really believe that there is no better way to enjoy the fleeting British Summer than taking a long, leisurely walk on the beach, and Camber Sands truly is a brilliant beach. I feel so lucky that this place is only a few minutes down the road by car. It’s a pocket of sandy paradise in amongst some beautiful countryside areas and quaint towns and villages.

While I was staying at the beach, I took several walks in the neighbouring countryside. There is a footpath from Camber, leading all the way to Rye, my hometown. It takes about an hour to walk there and passes through wheat fields and past stunning lakes filled with swans and windsurfers respectively. If you look closely at the trees and bushes along the way, you’ll see countless bees, butterflies and dragonflies, as well as gorgeous wildflowers.

The best thing about this route is that you rarely have to cross any roads, and the path leads you straight into town at both Rye and Camber. It cuts out a large distance, and you really notice the difference when driving – the road is very bendy in places. I would not want to have to follow the road all the way from A to B, that’s for sure!

Staying in Camber allowed me to truly relax and to think deeply about what I really wanted out of life. I usually find myself getting restless during long breaks from work, but this summer, I haven’t even spent a moment wishing I was back at work. The alone time has been truly priceless, and I am going to try to get away from things a little more if I can, even if my escape route only leads me a couple of miles down the road!

For information on Camber Sands and the surrounding areas, please visit this website.

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