To my horror, I woke up last Tuesday with a gammon complexion because the day before I’d been to the coast for a roast in the hazy sunshine of North Norfolk. By Thursday my forehead was peeling in a delightfully attractive way, and what with the fact that I’m in need of a haircut and haven’t trimmed my beard in a fortnight, I looked like a gentleman of the road, a hobo, a vagabond, a drifter.
My wife, who really needs to get a hobby so she can leave me to get on with mine, wanted to go somewhere on Bank Holiday Monday. So although it goes against my every instinct to go anywhere in this country on a bank holiday, I found myself heading off for Hunstanton: well, it was an excuse to go somewhere in the new car. It’s a bit of a trek, Norfolk, but I’d rather do the extra half an hour than go anywhere near the M25 or the South coast. North Norfolk, by the way, seems very tautological.
Hunstanton might be quite nice if it wasn’t for all the eyesores along the sea front, which includes the vast expanse of concrete that is the sea wall, behind which you find all the static caravans, holiday homes, and even – laughably – beach huts. I know these latter can cost a lot of money, but I wonder how much the one I saw for sale was: it was bang next to the hideously noisy amusement park but had a direct view of the sea (as long as you have x-ray vision and can see through half a metre of grey concrete sea wall).
Hunstanton does actually have a nice beach, only not the beach in front of the town – the nice one is a little further along the coastal path, through the dunes, and away from the noise of the jet skis and the fairground.
Two observations. Firstly, if your idea of fun is speeding up and down the same short stretch of water on a jet ski, then fuck you. Secondly, there are too many dogs. I don’t remember this many dogs at the sea side when I was a kid. There were clear signs saying that there were no dogs allowed on the beach between Groynes 1 and 19, and yet countless dog owners cheerfully ignored them. And at least three of these owners let their dog shit and didn’t pick it up. So fuck them as well.
It wasn’t particularly sunny, but I didn’t wear a hat and I didn’t put on any sun screen, so I ended up looking like a honey roast ham, dammit.