Earlier this year, Mrs B and I spent a week in Northumberland. We love the peace and quiet and the wide, sandy beaches.
Polly was with us and she loves the seaside too but like most two years olds, for her it is about sandcastles and splashing in the shallow waves as they lap onto the beach.
I am often drawn back to the memories of those carefree moments, a little girl laughing and enjoying a warm June afternoon. I recall my own childhood, playing cricket on the beach at Hunstanton with my brothers and sister, my parents unpacking a simple picnic. I smile as I think about cold wintery days at a deserted Anderby Creek and seeing the dogs run like the wind as they tried to catch a seagull.
I cherish the memories of Mrs B and I walking along a deserted beach, picking up stones and skipping them across the surface of the warm inviting sea. Memories made by the sea, memories of children on a beach. Memories that bring a warm afterglow; how lucky I am to have such memories.
How lucky I am to have Miss Polly in my life and how lucky was she to have been born in this country and not in Syria or Iraq or any of the other countries of the world where war rages. How lucky that she does not have to face being dragged from her home or to face the fear of never seeing it again.
Polly cannot wait to return to the seaside and she will no doubt make more wonderful memories of a child on a beach. But memories of a child on a beach will never be quite the same again… will they?