Verity Red has admired beach huts along the Kent coast for as long as she can remember.

Unable to afford one, instead, over the years she has collected artwork, bed linen, towels and fridge magnets featuring beach hut designs.

Creating a small, model beach on a shelf in her bathroom with sand, shells, a miniature deckchair, bucket and spade, and a beach ball; the main feature was a blue and white wooden – yes you guessed!

Will Verity realise her dream and find happiness in the place where she most likes to be, beside the seaside, beside the sea?

Scroll down for extracts and illustrations…

Wednesday 27th April

11.21 a.m.

BEN: Oh. It’s a bit breezy.

ME: A bit breezy?! A bit breezy!?!? Are you joking? It’s flippin’ arctic, freeze you to the bone, blow you away, gale force something – probably nine – very strong winds from the North Sea.

BEN: Yes dear.

ME: I saw little arrows flying across the weather girl’s map this morning, zooming into this coastline. In fact, I’ll swear one of them was stabbing right where we are now.

BEN: You may be right. I should have parked the car nearer the path down the hill.

ME: Or what Ordnance Survey maps call the path on the coastal slope.

BEN: Yes, little Miss Cartographer.

ME: I think I must be a little Miss Crazy. Has it finally happened? Have I lost my tiny mind? Here I am at  the seaside. Icy cold winds. And although I’ve wrapped up well – well I thought I had – I’m going to turn into an ice cube at any moment. And I’m going to look at beach huts, with the intention of buying one.

Friday 6th May

10.00 a.m.

Another day
Chilly and wet
I think that Lovely
Needs the vet

One glance at the calendar
No, not yet

My music needs a mix
My car needs a fix

Our next door neighbour
Is up to his old tricks   

Two birds are on
The bird table fighting

Time for me to
Knuckle down to writing

10.23 a.m. I continue with March.

Wednesday 3rd

8.46 a.m.

BEN: Coffee?

ME: Yes. Your real coffee please.

BEN: Gone off the decaf?

ME: No, I just fancy a bit of a lift.

BEN: A broomstick riding lift?

ME: More a mental lift. And a bit of a buzz.

BEN: Buzzy bee honey on toast too? I got a jar of Rob’s honey from his hives when I saw him yesterday.

ME: Made by very happy bees.

BEN: How do you know they are very happy?

ME: Because Rob has happy hens, or his girls, as he calls them, that he looks after well. So I imagine he looks after his bees too. They need a lot of care. The hive needs to be kept –

BEN: Bee-kept.

ME: Yes dear. It needs to be kept dry, airy and clean. And the colony checked regularly to make sure they are doing well, and extra frames added in peak season. I wonder if vets come out to see bees if they seem unwell. You can’t really take a hive along to the vets can you. Imagine sitting in a waiting room with a little hive on your lap, bees buzzing round your head.

BEN: Only you could imagine that dear.


Sunday 8th May

11.00 a.m. It’s a beautiful day. The sun shines brightly, reminding us that summer is on its way. There’s a buzzing sound of neighbours mowing their lawns, and I open the kitchen window, letting the grassy fragrance flow in.

ME: I like the smell of fresh mown grass. One of the smells of summer. Don’t you?

BEN: Yeah. I like the smell of toast and coffee too.

ME: Fancy a coffee?

BEN: Please.

ME: Toast?

BEN: Yeah.

ME: Do you know, the poet William Wordsworth who –

BEN: Wandered lonely as a cloud?

ME: Yes. He didn’t have a sense of smell! How sad that he wrote about the beauty of daffodils but didn’t experience their wonderful springtime fragrance. How different his Wordsworth words would have been. He loved to grow wildflowers at his home, in his garden at Dove Cottage in the Lake District, and like me, loved daisies. He wrote about them.

BEN: You wrote about daisies once didn’t you?

ME: I recall writing about feeling as fresh as a daisy under a cow pat!

BEN: Having no sense of smell would have been useful to Wordsworth when he wandered lonely as a cloud among the cow pats.

He wandered lonely as a cow pat
Among the cows that go moo
Then came home tired at sunset
Something smelly on his shoe


Monday 9th May

8.06 a.m. The early morning sun blazes through a gap in the bedroom curtains. Golden fingers of light gently stroke Diamanda’s silky, black head. I softly sing to her as I caress her warm coat. She purrs. A beautiful contented, silky, black purr.

The sun has got his hat on
Hip, hip, hip hurray!
The sun has got his hat on
And he’s coming out to play

ME: I’ve got a good feeling about today.

BEN: Oh good (yawning).

8.26 a.m. The kettle is boiling. Toast is toasting. Eggs with golden yolks from happy hens are bubbling away. Lovely pads silently into the kitchen through the cat flap on her huge, grey, fluffy paws. I stroke her soft, grey head, give her a little scratch behind the ears and under the chin. She purrs. A prize winning purr.

Tuesday 24th May

3.33 p.m. Pottering in the attic, I found a very old book, The Witche’s Cookbook. I had forgotten all about it. The heavy, dusty tome, with a midnight blue and purple cover, sprinkled with silvery stars and silhouettes of flying bats, looked magical. Under the title, written in beautiful, ornate gold lettering, was an illustration of a cauldron full of a bubbly, green broth, the green bubbles rising into the air.

I slowly and reverently turned the biscuit coloured pages – smelly, covered in age spots, and a little frayed at the edges, like some old witches I’ve met. But full of wickedly-delicious, witchcraft-inspired recipes, and knowledge – like many other witches I’ve met.

I noticed quite a few recipes I thought my niece would like to try. I may send them to her now, instead of  writing them in my witchy book. Haven’t decided. But I have decided to try out a couple myself, to take my mind off waiting for the beach hut papers to arrive.