Whitstable





It's been hot for so long, so I wanted to be near the sea. Max was up for a day trip so we got the train from St Pancras to Whitstable late on Saturday morning.The station was teeming with people getting out of the city, being squeezed through the ticket barriers onto the platform. On the journey we talked about work. Max just started his own agency and I'll be leaving mine soon. When we arrived we walked down through the town to the harbour, where it was crowded and people queued up for oysters from small shacks. The sky was hazy and trapped the heat in a thick layer on the street. We bought beers and walked with them along the coast. The beach was cut every 20 metres or so with planks of wood that divided the rocks into sections to stop the whole thing from drifting away.

We walked West for an hour or so, gravel crunching as we stepped over the planks. We talked a lot about family and creativity and friendship and a lot about objectivity. The air was hot and humid, so after a while we swam in the water, which was lukewarm and full of rocks and tiny jellyfish. Afterwards, we sat on the beach to dry and watched two brothers on a paddleboard, pushing each other off and then crashing into some broken wood that had once been a dock.


After a while we walked back and looked for food. The harbour was still busy so we kept walking. Beyond the ice cream trucks and tourist shops the path opened out and ran East, facing the open sea and a wind farm a few miles out. Out here the wind was clean and the asphalt felt good to walk on. After a while we found a fish and chip shop and ordered a mountain which we shared on a bench overlooking a row of huts in pastel colours by the sea. We drank a pint at a locals pub and too full to talk we slowly walked back through suburban back roads. We didn't see a single person and the sun lit the houses diagonally as it set.

We got back late and said goodbye with a hug, saying let's maybe go for a drink in a bit but knew it wouldn't happen. When I got home the house was dark and I fell asleep to the sound of the fan rotating and the city outside.