I know it shouldn’t be crowded. We should all be staying in. Since lockdown began there have been thousands of people in my home-town of Bournemouth all heading for a daily constitutional at some point in the day. The best way to avoid this, is to get up early. So, I set the challenge of waking up and hitting the tarmac before too many people have emerged.
I realise how lucky I am to be within fifteen minutes of one of the most spectacular coastlines in the UK. Don’t think I’m Harry Redknapp’s neighbour and live on ‘millionaire row’, I share a humble flat in the suburb of Southbourne. I’m grateful for this with every lockdown day that passes.
Today I set my alarm for the obscure time of 7.12am and I was out the door by half past. At 8am I was breathing in lungfuls of fresh sea air and greeting the occasional dog walker and jogger. It’s a beautiful time to be there, so quiet and serene, waves crashing and the gulls screaming overhead. It makes you appreciate life, living and being in the moment.
I hope to make this part of my daily routine, to get up and out and exercise before anything else. It clears my head and sets me up for the day. This circuit down to the beach and back along the clifftop takes an hour and hits my target of 10,000 steps before I’ve even had a cup of English breakfast tea. I take a few photos of birds, plants and shells and then I do a little research to get me in the mood for writing and my day begins.
It has also helped me sleep well and meant that I am ready for bed a lot earlier than I had been. I’m no longer staying awake until 2am binge-watching Netflix or knitting. I’m tired at the end of the day and ready for a good rest. In the absence of a gym or swimming pool (we can’t swim at the beach, but I am very tempted) this is the best I can do for my body and mind.