What is it about a day on the beach that gives us such a good night’s sleep? I say a day but it was barely a couple of hours.
We didn’t get down to yonder North Berwick till teatime and, being a Scottish summer, it kept raining and we had to retreat to the car as my accomplice, being female, didn’t like getting her hair wet (neither do I, but I don’t let on and try to tough it out).
North Berwick has two long beaches. After wandering along the first, we bought fish and chips and ate them in the car, me getting to eat one and a half suppers as usual. I’d been a bit gloomy, as a result of cutting down on food and drink, and now felt waves of cheer surging through me.
Amazing how a bit of lard can lighten the mood. By the time we got to the second beach, a beautiful, blinding sunset was doing its thing. North Berwick has among the highest property prices in the country, even overtaking nearby Edinburgh, and it’s not because of the bricks. It’s because of the beach.
It’s not one of those beaches where people sit about in their pants. It’s one where mature, sensible people walk while properly clad in trousers and anoraks. Walking along the beach makes one philosophical. God knows, I’m philosophical enough at the best of times, and it has been the ruin of me. But here, aided by fish and chips feeding the brain, it was infused with a merrier outlook.
The sighing of the sea also has a calming effect, caused by our being back at the place where life as we know it first crawled ashore, ditched the flippers and evolved into the fine specimens of blubber we see waddling about the streets today.
Like many people, my friend does not believe in evolution, preferring the alternative explanation that we were put here by aliens as an experiment. Evidently, they then forgot about us, and we’ve been muddling along ever since.
It’s an interesting viewpoint, but not one that should be taught in schools, other than in a lesson about “nutters and how to spot them”. But, assuaged by lard and sunsets, I pretended to agree and started waving towards ooter space shouting, “Help! Remember us?”
After bail had been arranged and I was released from detention, we motored home and, later, I slept like a log, eight and a bit hours straight through. It was a strange sensation. My brain felt clear, as if tons of cobwebs and dust had been swept away.
I am not used to thinking clearly (see my previous work) and felt quite sorted, as they say. However, the doctor said not to worry and that I’d soon return to my normal, comforting state of befuddlement.
Let us amass the ingredients here: a walk, sea air, fish and chips, aliens, and philosophical cheer. What if I tried that every day? Well, while I’d put on a little weight, I’d become happy and have an unclouded brain thanks to a good night’s sleep.
Not for me, thanks. I didn’t get where I am today by having an unclouded brain. However, it’s a nice thing to try once in a while. Just for a wee change.