If I had made any New Year’s Resolutions, one of them would have been to spend more time appreciating where I live. Folk dream of living by the seaside, but once the dream becomes reality it is all too easy to take the beauty and benefits for granted. I let my regular weekend walks lapse last summer when gardening started to consume every daylight hour, only going down to the beach when I was entertaining visitors. As Christmas approached I had other excuses, but now that the festivities are over I am rediscovering the joys of sand, sea and occasional sunshine in the town sometimes referred to as Stella Maris, Star of the Sea.

It was my Birthday on Friday. Although efforts were made to make it a decent day, I chose to celebrate instead on Saturday, with a small group of friends. We had a wonderful meal at a local restaurant called Stark, which is so brilliant I have to pinch myself to remind me how lucky I am to have such a gastronomic delight on my doorstep. There was Bollinger before we left the house, pornstar martinis at Houdini’s Magic Bar and after-dinner drinks at Boswells. Then we cracked open a few more bottles before retiring to bed at 3.30am.

I am not going to say that I am getting a bit old for this kind of shenanigans, but I woke up feeling as inebriated as I did when I went to bed, and my head has been punishing me all day. I had a friend at university who would go on a gruelling run following a heavy night on the town. He swore that it was the best cure for a hangover. I didn’t believe it then, I don’t believe it now, and I have no intention of proving otherwise. However, I do endorse a dose of bracing sea air to clear a sore head.

Having set foot tentatively outdoors after lunch my first task was to let some fresh air into the greenhouse, which was warm after a morning of pleasant sunshine. I tidied up my clematis, had a cursory sweep and checked whether any of the plants growing in pots were getting too dry. Then, with my brain straining against my skull, I ventured down to the seafront, where the entire world appeared to be having an afternoon constitutional. What’s more, for every human being there appeared to be at least three dogs.

Dropping down to the beach to make the most of the sinking sun, I entered a world of golden light and glassy reflections. The sea has stripped away a lot of the sand, exposing rough plinths of white chalk rock. The tide was going out and the waves were small and gentle. On the beach it’s hard to tell what season it is, the air temperature providing the only clue. Walking on my own was a welcome opportunity to take in the timeless scene and re-engage with where I live. Just for a moment, bathed in soft, yellow light, my hangover was forgotten. TFG.

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29 thoughts on “Hungover

  1. Happy birthday Dan, must say, you look exceptionally well after such a celebratory night, well done you. Also the pics of your beach are breathtaking, thank you for sharing your beautiful part of the world with the rest of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy belated Birthday Dan!
    Among the very few blogs that I follow, now I know why I enjoy yours very much though we garden in extreme opposite climates and as it is the rule I envy your plants which does not survive the harsh heat of summers here: Capricorn attraction!
    It is not only your garden & plants that I enjoy, I like your sense of humour, eloquent style, provoking thoughts seasoned with self analysing.

    Once one achieves a dream such as living/gardening by the sea with a spectacular view, soon, without realising one surrenders to obsessive, possessive gardens’ demands; it is not taking for granted; it is a split of gardener’s loyalty. Rather a schizophrenic situation I know as a capricorn born on January 15th:
    A glimpse of my garden’s winter view (I have tried to add a photo but I am not sure):

    To CAPRICORNS with love,


    1. Happy Birthday Ceylan! I hope you have a lovely day. The weather has taken a turn for the worse and gales are predicted today. Climatic schizophrenia! I hope it’s fine and bright where you are 😊🙏

      Thank you very much for your kind words about my blog. I try hard to keep standards up and make it interesting. I’m very happy to hear it’s amongst the select few you follow. I don’t think you can attach photos to comments, but you can email it to me at Dan


  3. ‘but I woke up feeling as inebriated as I did when I went to bed, and my head has been punishing me all day’ Oh Dan this post made me laugh incessantly . We’ve all been there. Alcohol is not the answer it just makes you forget the question. This post was ever so didactic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Gill. My celebrations have not quite concluded yet. I had a night out with a friend last night (I was very generously gifted The Private Gardens of England by Tania Compton) and have a house full of friends again this weekend. After that I need to de-tox!


  4. Happy belated birthday Dan!
    The sea air does soften the results of the celebratory night before. A friend, who is an emergency medical technician, swears by an intravenous saline bag and a few hits on the oxygen tank for quick recovery!😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks to you Dan I celebrated my birthday in Stark last night. What a gem of a restaurant. The food was really lovely. We are often in Broadstairs and I hadn’t heard of it until you wrote about it. We will definitely be going there again. I often follow your various plant recommendations and haven’t been let down, same now goes for restaurants!! Maureen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am pleased Maureen. Belated Happy Birthday! I am always nervous about recommending restaurants, but I felt I was quite safe with endorsing Stark. It’s not the sort of restaurant you are likely to stumble over, and if you do, they don’t have space for walk-ins. I hope your celebrations continue long into the weekend. Dan


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