Thinking of a beach instantly fills me with relaxation and an overwhelming longing to be the one swaying gently in that hammock by the ocean. How could anything bad ever happen in such a beautiful place? ( Jaws does not come to mind!) Aside from the topaz water and brilliant white sand, there is that mixture of smells – coconut oil, salt brine and sun-dried skin. Most of all there is space, you feel as though you are on the edge of the world. There is a sense of openness unlike being in the mountains where I feel claustrophobic surrounded by massive unyielding walls of rock.

Maybe my love affair with beaches is due to living on the prairies with our 6 month long winters. If you’re smart, you book that trip in December and get away during the winter to shave off some of the dreary weeks of cold and minus 25 weather. Of course I can always visit one of our beautiful northern lakes in the summer if I want to be at a beach but it is not quite the same as being in more temperate climes. There are no black flies and mosquitoes the size of the Wright brothers airplane for one thing. Alas, for those of us less fortunate or rich, we are left to stare at posters of Anguilla and dream on.


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