Retro chic – happy, lazy days of our youth


David and I went over to the coast 10 days ago to view the sand sculpture competition. We were too early, and had to leave early so missed it all!

It was a gorgeous, sunny afternoon and obvious that people weren’t necessarily holidaying abroad this year. The beach was rammed with families having fun, sounds which you don’t hear all too often these days, and the light was so lovely that it gave rise to that beautiful half mirage-like effect that happens, where you look to the horizon and it’s as if magically whatever occupies that space floats in the air in a shimmering light.

It immediately reminded me of an exhibition I attended at the Beckstones Gallery in Cumbria, featuring the work of Richard Littleford.


I love his work because I immediately feel like a small child again, able to view the British beach as it should be viewed, innocent, dreamy, full of fun wherever you turn. I love the light, the texture of the water and the sand and the fact that you can feel that warm sunny day.

So I set to emulate this by photo……hmmmm

St Annes beach # 2 2009

St Annes beach 2009

St Annes Beach #3 2009

Not sure I captured his style but it was fun trying. In the same vein for ye olde traditional, height of summer fun I cannot impress upon you enough to visit Ilkley Lido.

I am, it must be said, obsessed with water, want to dive into any stretch of it as often as possible. (The Wild Swimming books are my bible).

It’s the one main aspect of life in the UK which thoroughly deflates my good mood on a sunny day; that I have to travel 45 miles to an open air pool to take advantage.

Ilkley Lido is a gem. It’s so reminiscent of my childhood summer Sundays at St Annes Open Air Baths that I could easily go there and weep for those lost days… of endless swimming, 99s, strawberry mivvis, sweaty cheese and tomato sandwiches, standing behind Les Dawson in awe of him and laughing at his jokes! Ilkley’s sounds are identical, just laughter and giggles, shrieks and joy fill the air. Teenagers ogle one another, sheepishly, while mothers wrap their toddlers in a whole beach towel to the delight of the coccooned child, youths have diving competitions (Yes, there IS a diving area!) while fathers compete to play footie on the lawns.

Meanwhile the only fix I can offer aside from all that are my wonderful new Crayons by Adrian Olabuenaga. Didn’t you always want the biggest box of them, the one which had the concealed sharpener in the corner at the back? I did. Wax every colour of the rainbow though what I’d have done with them I don’t know – not as if art was my strong point!

We’re wondering about a range of matching mugs but as yet, undecided. See what you think and maybe create your own Littleford!

Adrian Olabuenaga Crayon Pens from ACME


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