Richard Oliff: Call of the coast is in the blood

The call of the coast is in Richard's blood
The call of the coast is in Richard's blood

I’ve often wondered if my late parents might have chosen to retire to live by the sea.

My mum was born in Bath Street in Gourock, which sits at the mouth of the River Clyde in Scotland.

Despite her rhetoric that she would never return, I had the sneaking suspicion that she hankered for the smell of the sea as she would frequently reminisce about crossing the Clyde to Dunoon, surrounded by all the sights and sounds one might associate with being at the seaside, not least the persistent scream of the gulls.

My dad began his life further south, having been born on ‘The Green’ in Great Burstead, within the postal district of Billericay in Essex.

I liken it to someone being born in Gretton within the borough of Corby. His family later moved to the nearby town of Brentwood.

Dad would tell me about family trips to nearby popular coastal destinations like Southend-on-Sea and Canvey Island which are both nearby, 16 and 13 miles away respectively, and located at the mouth of the River Thames.

Perhaps I’ve discovered the reason for my ever longing to someday live near to somewhere coastal.

There is however the recognisable danger that I’m being over sentimental for something that might never be captured, yet like so many, some of my more contented times are associated with the seaside.

Therefore should the opportunity arise then surely it would make sense to at least investigate the possibilities of a mere extended, even permanent residency by the sea.

Now, where could this vision of contentment be?

Maybe it’s in my blood, perchance akin to some old speckled salmon returning home following a long sojourn.