An Idyllic English day eases into an epic beach barbecue

– two “panoramic” photos from first light on the dunes

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
    the name of the Lord is to be praised.

Psalm 113:3
– Andrew, Alicia, and Mr. T.

Saturday on Camber Sands dawned clear, cold, and almost calm. The winds had died down and the beach beckoned. So I walked up to the dunes while the coffee brewed and drank in the therapeutic coolness, hoping to clear a little more of the jet lag from my fuzzy brain.

After breakfast we all walked back together, and Mr. T. was happy to dig in the sand. The weekend sunshine lured more people to the shore and the parking lots had filled up by the time we returned home for a late lunch.

– “Chef Joe”

Then, in the early afternoon, the tempo of the day took a shift when Andrew and Alicia’s friend Joe showed up for a long-overdue reunion. They met in Tashkent, where Joe served in the U.K.’s diplomatic corps, and she became T’s official godmother when he was baptized in the Dresden Anglican church (the first Anglican baptism there since before WW2).

Today, Joe works for the foreign office (trying to save the world) and lives within commuting range of London. She is also an amazing cook with great imagination and boundless kitchen energy. We joked that, when Andrew and Alicia had responsibility for Saturday’s dinner, they brought in a private chef from London!

Joe upped her game by filling her vintage MG with everything necessary to bring the party to the beach, which had essentially emptied for us by the time we returned late in the day.

So, as the photos will demonstrate, the afternoon morphed into an evening beautiful in every way: beautiful scenery, beautiful sunset, beautiful people, beautiful conversation; amazing food, wild stories, new friendships forged, memories crafted.

This is why we are here; this is why we travel; this is why we live; this is how we love. Enjoy the images, and think about what numerous – and momentous – reasons we all have to be grateful and know how deeply blessed we are. – DEREK

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