The sand of a dozen beaches


There is something deeply satisfying about slipping your bare feet into your deck shoes and feeling the sand on the skin of your soles.

For the last ten years my pattern has been very simple, around the last week in June I make my way to our local sports outlet and purchase a pair of faux Converse shoes. They usually retail around £10 or under and will generally last me the three months of summer wear from that point.

Last year I followed this plan and bought a pair of nice grey shoes to wear over the following months. Unusually these ended the summer season in remarkably good condition.  They were not falling apart, they did not smell and were put away in the wardrobe over winter.

As the warm days crept in in late April with the promise of more to come my shorts made a welcome comeback.  Each day at work these cargo shorts adorn my Adonis-like frame and sit comfortably under my work wear for the 10 hours that I am present in work.

As June drew to a welcome end and holidays were anticipated I sought out my deck shoes to see if the winter had been kind to them. It had. So the normal routine was postponed until next year as they became a fixture upon my feet in the sunny days that followed.

I am a man of simple tastes when it comes to footwear; my New Balance carry me to work each day and to the gym as required, I have designated footwear for work and quality brogues for cooler days.

This year the whole thing was thrown to the wind as last year’s pretend Converse saw a second year of wear.

We visited an inordinately large number of beaches this year, sock less and happy in my shorts for the three weeks of summer holidays these shoes were on and off without ever having the laces loosened. Being year two, the sand grains of last year blended seamlessly with the new additions from this current year. I would be hard pushed to differentiate one beach from another based upon the contents of my footwear but the memories of these days are treasured in the memory banks for all time.

The undoing of most of these shoes is the presentation of salt water. These ones have survived the many visits to the coast in happy dryness. Quite what was different these last two years I can’t say, but such is life.

For me the who purpose of holidays is to enjoy a break from the routine in different clothes and locations and store up happy memories with my beloved family.

All that I was doing today was putting out the rubbish but in choosing that particular footwear I brought back the memories of every beach that we visited in the last 24 months.

That was a happy moment!

Memories hang on hooks, sometimes it is a song, a smell, a thought or a picture; today it was nothing more than a random shoe selection during an inane task that opened the flood gates.

The shoes won’t see another summer but all being well, we will.

And into the pot will go more treasured days of happy beach visits.

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