Five years ago my husband and I travelled to the UK for 3 weeks to follow the Wallabies in the Rugby World Cup.
In between games we visited many wonderful places and revisited favourite haunts from previous trips.
One of our new adventures was to Chesil Beach in the south of England. I had started reading Ian McEwan's 'On Chesil Beach' on the flight over in anticipation.
So I was prepared for the long strip of pebble beach with water in front and back! And I should have been prepared for the freezing cold southerly buster blowing in across the water the day we were there, but it still took my breath away!
The pebbles were huge and smooth from weathering, but still very hard and uncomfortable to walk and sit on.
Curiously the inclement conditions did not hinder the many fisher folk...or my determination to have a photo op, with book in hand, overlooking Chesil Beach.
I couldn't imagine how any couple (book couple or real-life couple) could manage a romantic walk along this beach! I spent my time trying to picture where the book couple would have strolled as I caressed the different sized, shaped & coloured pebbles between my fingers.
As it turned out, 'On Chesil Beach' was not to be one of my favourite McEwan books - perhaps it wasn't a book that travelled well. I couldn't really give it the undivided attention it probably deserved.
When I finished it, I swapped it in a B & B in Northumbria for a wonderful old copy of 'Mary Jane' by Daphne du Maurier instead. Too bad I can't travel back in time to ye olde London to visit Mary Jane's world!