As soon as I parked the car the first thing I saw was the sea, shimmering in the distance between the sand dunes and beach huts in the foreground. I just sat in the car smiling for a few minutes. Some places give you that kind of feeling, that emotional connection, like you've come home. The weather was all bright sun, blue sky and gentle breezes, with enough warmth in the air to make sitting outside enjoyable rather than bearable. We walked down to the water's edge and I let the waves wash over my wellies, watched the light dance on the surf and pebbles. The children paddled, jumped, threw stones and collected shells. I wish I could bottle that smell, that damp, marine, gently salty smell of sea spray, the scent that says The Sea to me like nothing else. I stood and listened; I could hear water and waves, the crunch of people walking on shingle, seagulls, children shrieking, the wind, the occasional dog barking, sometimes shouts and music from the fairground further up the beach. We bought take-away coffees and lemon cake from the kiosk and sat outside the beach hut on deckchairs. The kids played football, bat and ball, and attempted sandcastles in the slippery, too-dry sand. I savoured every moment.