You know how I don't do well with enthusiasm, generally? That I'm a bit like one of those huffy teens you see getting dragged sullenly around sites of outstanding beauty, rolling their eyes and fiddling with their mobile phones when asked what they think of Venice/The Sistine Chapel/The Taj Mahal? This used to cause me terrible problems back in the day when I was a proper lawyer. When some shiny partner type would sweep masterfully into my eurohutch and tell me in delight about a Massive Important Deal, it would take all I could muster just to not burst into tears at the prospect of all those hours, spreadsheets, sleepless nights, mathematical catastrophes of mine causing hideous losses, being shouted at by bankers and I would do well to manage an expression of studied neutrality. "You don't look very KEEN" they would bellow, narrowing their eyes whilst clearly thinking I was not quite the thing. Worst of all, I tend to look underwhelmed even when I'm not, really. Well I'm actually finding it quite hard here, because god, it is beautiful. Reader, I am Pleasantly Surprised.
Really, really beautiful. Look:
This is the view from the gigantic bed. Why would I ever leave it? Well, I suppose I could go downstairs and look at this view instead:
whilst sitting on these totally superior chaise longues that I would never in a million years consider buying for myself given my total aversion to outdoors, but that are magnificent for lounging consumptively.
And I am sitting, blogging (yes, I would be feeling a whole lot less sanguine about the whole seaside idyll thing if there wasn't an internet connection) and the sound of Pokémon: Giratina Gardien du Ciel or some such nonsense is almost completely drowned out by the noise of WAVES. Actual waves, and the odd malevolent seagull skreeking in fiendish joy as it tries to divebomb dogwalkers.
The best thing about this house is it allows those of us who would prefer to lurk inside well away from the demon sand and hidden from the sun under a thick hoodie (I am Not Good at beach holidays, I get sunburn within 45 seconds, my hands get covered in heat rash and sand gives me goosebumps.) to have the impression of actually being at the beach without all the downsides; whilst the sterner, 1950s types can run around in serviceable khaki shorts poking things with sticks and swimming in freezing water and posing grimly in front of their creations.
I finally picked my way fastidiously down the beach this afternoon swathed in clothes and factor 50, like a cross between Lytton Strachey and Madonna, to examine the sandcastles and huddle on a towel. Lashes was ninja kicking small heaps of sand, whilst Fingers asked delicately for biscuits in my ear, lounging against some kind of huge structure his father had engineered. The CFO was striding around organising things and swimming manfully, despite his much reduced body fat percentages of recent months. It was quite idyllic. At one point as I watched the spawn squabble over spades, the CFO came over and crouched down next to me.
"C'est vraiment dommage que tu ne peux pas être bien avec moi" (it's such a shame you can't be happy with me)
And it is. It really is.