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Landscape (UK) - - Contents - Rachel Hawkins Ed­i­tor

AS SPRING BLOS­SOMS into sum­mer, I feel an ir­re­sistible draw to visit the coast. A few days away rel­ish­ing the sea­son’s early warmth feels both in­dul­gent and restora­tive. This is a tra­di­tion which started in child­hood, when we would ago away for a short fam­ily hol­i­day in June ev­ery year to the same vil­lage in South Devon. The jour­ney was part of the magic. An old boat tied to the top of the car, like an upturned shell, acted as car­rier for our tent and ba­sic needs for the week. Progress was slow, but we de­lighted in the fa­mil­iar mark­ers along the way. As the roads be­came nar­rower and the hedges taller, we imag­ined it was our own se­cret route to a land of white­washed cot­tages, clot­ted cream and salty lips. As soon as we ar­rived, the tent was hastily pitched and the boat dragged down the nar­row lane from camp­site to beach. Our damp can­vas ac­com­mo­da­tion served a pur­pose, but it was the boat which promised end­less ex­cit­ing ad­ven­tures to come. Leav­ing the tiny har­bour be­hind, we bobbed along, fin­gers drag­ging through the wa­ter, ex­hil­a­rated by the con­trast of warm sun and cold sea. Out be­yond the safety of the cove and its pro­tec­tive wall, the slip­way and piles of lob­ster pots shrank to a size that would fit in my hand. Fish­ing was our plan. The har­bour mas­ter, al­ways on his bench, trusty black Labrador at his side, laughed at our rod and line of coloured feath­ers. But rarely did we come back with­out the trea­sure we sought: a bucket of sil­very mack­erel for our sup­per. Now June is here again, that fa­mil­iar sense of an­tic­i­pa­tion re­turns. Sum­mer is new, and while the long­est day will soon pass, there are so many warmer days promised, so many more ex­pe­ri­ences ahead. But for now, a fa­mil­iar jour­ney to a spe­cial place brings back all the warmth and happy mem­o­ries I need.

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