This is the second in author Rebecca Cohen’s series about life as an expat.
I miss the sea. Although you could argue, that since I was born and dragged up in Wolverhampton, in the West Midlands, and moved to London in my twenties, I have absolutely no right to do so. But in reality I’m also the daughter of a Cornishman, and I can’t remember a family holiday while growing up when we didn’t either head down to Truro in Cornwall or to Rhyl in north-west Wales.
They were cheap holidays. As a family we didn’t have a lot of money, so visiting relatives in the south-west or making use of a friend’s static caravan in Wales were the options we had. And the biggest draw for me was the sea. It was so much more vibrant that the canals we had back home, and it was free, so there no constraints in using it (unlike the fairground rides!).
My love affair with the sea continued into my adulthood and, before I left the UK, it was somewhere I escaped to if I wanted to clear my mind. I’ve been on holiday with friends, been an assistant stage manager at the Minack Theatre, and my husband even proposed to me on a beach in Cornwall so, you see, I’m a sea-ophile!
This is a photo from the production of War of the Worlds at the Minack Theatre in Cornwall
Maybe I should have thought about this before I moved to a landlocked country. But I am very glad to say the River Rhine has come to my aid. Our apartment sits on the banks of the river and, while it’s not the Atlantic Ocean, I have a pretty nice view of the river and the city. And it does mean I can follow the river to work in the morning. In the summer the locals can often be found cooling off in the river, and there’s even an annual ‘Am Rhine’ swim that takes place every August where you can join thousands of others to float down the river, collect a medal and stop for a mojito at the end.
One of my favourite things about Rhine are the little ferries (fȁhren) that are carried on the current travel from one side of the river to the other on a zip wire.
So, all in all, while I still miss the sea, the Rhine now has a special place in my affections, but it won’t stop me hitting the south-west coast at my first earliest opportunity when back in Blighty!
Bio and Links:
Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and baby son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.
DSP author page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_462