It's safe to say that I am *not* an outdoorsy person. Whenever I see people posting about camping, hiking and generally getting out and about in the dirt, I wish that I was like that - I even feel a little bad that I'm not like that.....but I'm just not.
There are many reasons for this - and I'll be honest, not least is the fact that I am a bit lazy in
some many ways. But I'm also pretty much as pale as they come, I am not good with extreme temperatures in any way (once I am too hot/too cold I stay that way until I am immersed in water of the opposite temperature!) and manage to have been born allergic to all of the world. Cats? Yes. Dogs? Yes. Asthma? Tick. Plants? Oh yes. Very much so. Particularly grasses, but a lot of other polleny things too. Hayfever til my sinuses are blocked to the max and my eyes are puffed up slits. Not only that, but my allergies also set off delightful skin rashes at times. And of course, along with that I can also count on being bitten to death my midgies/mosquitos - which, you guessed it, when bitten I'm also prone to having an allergic reaction to.
It's not so fun. I even had to have an operation on the inside of my nose four years ago, because my turbinates (the squishy bits on the inside that become inflamed) had become so irritated with 29 years of being allergic to life, that they were permanently huge and I was struggling to breathe through my nose on a normal, non-coldy, non-allergy day. No joke! I have a delightful nasal douche now that to me is as key to my daily routine as brushing my teeth.
But.....there is one big exception both my physical and mental allergy to the outdoors...
...and that's the sea.
|St Ives, Cornwall|
I LOVE the sea - water in general, but particularly the sea. I love swimming (although I don't do it often enough), particularly outdoors; I love being around water, being in the water, looking at water, listening to water.....If I am on a beach, it's pretty much the law that I have to dip my toes in, whatever the time of year.
|My feet in The Sound of Harris, Outer Hebrides 2013; my feet in the Atlantic, St Ives, Cornwall 2012.|
It's actually giving me goosebumps writing this post!
|The Pacific Ocean, somewhere along the Pacific Coastal Highway, view from Ala Lani the VW camper van, 2013.|
|Elephant seals on a beach up the Pacific Coastal Highway, 2013|
I remember having a student once who told me he felt such a connection with the outdoors that he longed to live in a tree. I do *not* relate to this! But being around water, I guess I can relate to how others feel about the dirty, itchy, allergen-riddled land-based outdoors. I think on some level, my body senses that the sea and it's watery, cool saltiness is a safe-haven from most allergies for me.
The sea is amazing in all its guises, and I do have dreams of one day having a coastal home, somewhere around Edinburgh. I just have to look at the sea to feel a sense of inner-calm wash through me. Ok, we don't have the weather of the Californian coast, but Scotland's not so bad-looking either!
So when one of my absolute all-time favourite, desert-island, got-to-have-them-all bead artists makes ocean-themed beads, I am of course going to have to buy some, right?
|Whale bead from Kylie Parry|
Here's the very sweet and beachy bracelet I made with one of my Kylie whale beads. I have another couple of whales, quite different to this wee chubster, and I'm looking forward to making some more ocean-themed pieces. I just had to pair wee Mr Whalie with a starfish clasp from Green Girl Studios, and a few keshi freshwater pearls.
I would, of course, love to go whale watching one day.
|Found on Pinterest|
Aren't these creatures simply magnificent?
|Found on Pinterest|
I hope that will be me up there, some day, diving with the whales. I scuba-dived (-dove?!) in Egypt last year; a baby dive down amongst the coral reefs of the Gulf of Aqaba, and it totally whetted my appetite for more ocean adventures. It was literally one of the best experiences of my life so far, and I can't wait to go again.
Whether you are as in love with the sea as I am or not, I hope you get a chance to catch some waves this summer. I have a feeling mine will be chilly, steely North Sea waves and bracingly beautiful Outer Hebridean waves, but still as wonderfully wild and beautifully and intoxicating as any others.
|Whale Watching - available on etsy.|