Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

A day out at the seaside? We all know what that means,

A kaleidoscope of what must be uniquely-British scenes.

Embarrassing socks and sandals sported by your dad,

And sand you find in places that you never knew you had.


You pack a range of sun-creams to help your pallor wane,

But find yourself in what feels like a full-scale hurricane.

Instead you need a sleeping bag draped across your knees,

The windbreak at an angle of around fifteen degrees.


You decide to cheer things up by buying fish and chips,

Despite the fact the deck-chair can barely take your hips.

Seagulls descend like ninjas, they’re nothing if not plucky,

But being in their firing line feels anything but lucky.


Still too cold to take a dip you head towards the pier,

There you find a fun-fair and the kids let out a cheer.

Soon you’re several tenners lighter and then put out your back,

Flying down the helter-skelter on an old potato sack.


Heading to the arcades, you know it isn’t wise,

To do battle with the grabber that never yields a prize.

Next on to the pub and a pleasing little red,

Let’s do this again tomorrow, is what you somehow said.


Despite the dodgy weather and the seagulls on attack,

You love the British seaside and you’ll soon be coming back.

Just before you head off home, you brave a little wade,

An encounter with a jelly-fish is how memories are made!


SEB 3I thought I’d start off today with a tongue-in-cheek homage to the British seaside. Although given the weather we’ve been having in my part of the country this week, it’s got even more appeal and is apparently hotter than the Med.

Now I don’t want this little poem to give you the wrong impression, I LOVE the coast and can’t seem to stop writing about it. Maybe not the type of resorts with arcades, but those filled with the sort of uniquely British charm of places like Polperro and Southwold. But it’s the Kentish coast I love most of all and which features in my stories. Maybe it’s because I was born a stone’s throw from Dover’s white cliffs or because I live about five minutes from the pretty seaside town of Whitstable.SEB 2

I set my first novel, Among A Thousand Starsin the real Kentish seaside town of Sandgate, but my new series was inspired by the fictional town of St Nicholas Bay’s connection to Charles Dickens. As a result it combines the old world charm of Rochester’s quaint tearooms and quirky shops, with the steep high street at Broadstairs, which leads down to a golden bay lined with colourfully painted beach huts. Many people who’ve read the Christmas novella that sparked the series, and which will be re-released by Accent Press in November, tell me that St Nicholas Bay is a character in itself.

Somebody else's boy cover finalSo if you fancy a trip to a beautiful seaside town, with none of the hassle of getting sand in your unmentionables, I’d be thrilled if you checked out my new novel, released today – Somebody Else’s Boy. It tells the story of Jack, a young widower raising his baby son alone and the new life he finds against the odds in St Nicholas Bay, and his house-mate, Nancy, who’s struggling to keep a secret because of the promise she made to someone who no longer knows her name…

Either way, I hope you have some fabulous plans for the bank holiday weekend and maybe a little trip to the seaside is in order after all!

Jo xx

Somebody Else’s Boy is released by Accent Press on 25th August 2016 and available here.


12 thoughts on “Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

  1. What a fabulous poem! And it completely sums up our affection for the British seaside. Many times we head to the coast, full of enthusiasm, and before many hours have passed we’re thinking, “Whose bright idea was this?” But we always go back again.
    Like you, I prefer the quieter charms of the smaller coastal towns and villages, but every now and then it’s good to walk along a busy promenade, with the loud music from the arcades blaring out, tucking into a hot, sugary donut, or a portion of fish and chips.
    Congratulations on your first release with Accent Press. It sounds wonderful. I loved your St Nicholas Bay novella, so I’m really looking forward to heading back there with Somebody Else’s Boy.(That sounded a bit wrong, but you know what I mean!) Happy publication day, Jo! x

  2. I love the poem!
    And how lovely to read all about the British seaside. I love the small, quaint coastal places too and Southwold is one of my favourites…when my kids were really little we would watch Grandpa in my Pocket (we lived in Melbourne at the time) and my mum recognised the shots from Southwold beach.

    Have a fabulous publication day!
    Helen J Rolfe xx

  3. Lovely surprise when Amazon notified me it’s on my Kindle. I thought it wasn’t due til next month. Congratulations, Jo, I’m looking forward to revisiting St Nicholas Bay!

  4. What a great poem!! You really are a wordsmith par excellence Jo!! I love the places you write about in your books and I especially love the characters you create. Many congrats on your 1st release with Accent, I’m off to get my copy now!! xx

  5. What Sharon says!!! Loved the poem and, as someone who lives by the sea where the seagulls are becoming increasingly daring and lethal, I can absolutely relate to that part. Massive congratulations on the launch. I’m sure it will be a brilliant book as I’ve loved everything else you’ve written.
    Jessica xx

  6. Huge coincidence. Facebook showed me a memory from last year – an inspirational post from you and Jessica – and when I came on Twitter to find you, the first thing that popped up was the Accent ad for the new book! I think your St Nicholas Bay must be twinned with my Nethergate, which also borrows heavily from Broadstairs. Readers always think it must be based on Whitstable, but it isn’t for a variety of reasons. I have to live here! Congratulations on your first Accent release.

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