Now that the darker evenings are well and truly upon us, I’ve been finding it more difficult after my shifts to get outside, so I’ve been trying to find the time during my rest days. This week was kind enough to give me 3 days off and so it allowed me to explore part of the Essex coastline today.
I’d left it up to an Instagram vote on where I was to journey this week – a canal or coastal walk. The coast tempted 65% of people, and so I planned my trip accordingly. Mersea Island is about a 50 minute drive from my house, and with a mixture of country park, beaches and rivers, it sounded like a lovely place to spend a pretty grey afternoon. Flask filled and playlist sorted, I was off on my drive. A road trip for me is an opportunity to showcase my vocal prowess…welcome to a live concert featuring Emma. I don’t do things by halves, you see. I’m sure people driving past must think I’m mad!
When I arrived at Cudmore Grove Country Park there were no other cars in the car park and it had just started to rain. Not giving in, I decided to head straight for the beach. It’s only a 5 minute walk from the car park but you can walk in either direction for quite some distance. It’s a bit different to what I’m used to, but considering how close it appeared to be to some industrial areas, I couldn’t hear anything but the birds and water. Complete stillness, and it was absolute bliss.
I sat up on the cliff edge for a long time, taking it all in and enjoying the peace, quiet and a cup of tea. During this time, only 2 people passed me whilst walking their dogs. Naturally, I had a play with my camera and tripod.
I do like a bobble hat!
Thoughts gathered, I headed off for a wander down the beach. I love being by water, and the sound of the waves always relaxes me. What with a completely empty beach and no breeze at all, the conditions were perfect and I thought I was completely in my element. However, the longer I spent out by myself, the more I realised how alone I was and, dare I say it, lonely. I’ve been very fortunate on my more recent outings to have had some great company, and failing that, there are always people passing by and offering a snippet of conversation. As much as I believe that time by yourself is massively important, I also think that moments like this should be shared. Someone to enjoy the views and talk things through with. Look after yourself first, but allow time for others to be there with you as well.
There were some lovely opportunities for photos today and the only shame was that the sunset wasn’t as spectacular as it had first suggested. I got a glimpse of pink and orange before it was lost behind the clouds, the completion of day hidden from my hopeful eyes. Making do with grey skies and objects I found on the beach, I meandered back along the shoreline.
This country park is one I imagine is overflowing with families in the summer. There’s something for everyone – beaches, grassland, woods, picnic areas and the most exciting part for those of younger years – an amazing play area. It comes with some great rules, ones which I think we should abide by in everyday life!
I was tempted to have a go myself!
With light fading fast, my little adventure was over, but I was happy just to have been able to have spent some time outside. What I took most from this walk was that it’s ok to not always feel at the top of your game. There are always going to be days that test us, make us feel isolated or just a little down. It’s what we do with those days that makes the difference. Embracing those feelings and taking positives from them is so important. Let yourself contemplate and understand your feelings, then come away supporting yourself rather than beating yourself up. In my eyes, being able to be by yourself is key; but having others along for the ride isn’t so bad either.