I've always loved the sea.
There's something about looking out and seeing nothing but water and sky as far as the eye can see that I find calming.
Feeling calm is quite a rare thing for someone like me, someone who is usually so panicked and anxious, and so of course I've always liked to visit the seaside and get that feeling of calmness whenever I can.
When I was little my Nan used to take me to West Derby beach, we'd get ice creams, ride on the donkeys and play games of rounders - one day she actually managed to knock me out when she fell on me during one particularly cut-throat game of rounders but that's a story for another time...
When I was a teenager the beach was still my go-to destination... my best friend & I would ride the train to Southport every weekend so that we could go and sit on the beach (And also so that we could sneakily drink bottles of 20/20 on the way there with time to sober up on the way back so our Mums wouldn't know....and so that we could talk to boys...obviously...)
And then came adulthood - When Jon & I went on our first cruise a few years back, it was the most relaxed I'd ever felt - we had a balcony cabin and I just loved to sit there with a coffee and watch the water - some people say that not seeing land makes them anxious but for me it's such a serene feeling.
I got the cruise bug on that holiday, and I can't wait to be back at sea again - we've booked our first family cruise for next Summer and I'm so excited - we're going on a 7 night cruise of the Norwegian Fjords with Tyne & Noah, and our friends and their new baby. It's not until next May but I am already counting down to it!
When we started looking for a new home just before Christmas, I had the same things on my Want List that I always have when looking for a place to live - it had to have plenty of storage space, it needed 3 bedrooms, it needed to have parking - all of the usual things. But there's always one point on my want list which was never ticked off - a sea view.
I knew if I could just live somewhere that enabled me to see the sea every day I would be more relaxed, and I'd just find the days somehow easier.
But it was never possible before to check that off the Want List along with all of the other needs, and so we lived in town houses, city apartments, village houses and so on - but then we stumbled across this house.
We almost didn't come to the viewing - Tyne was poorly that day and I'd been suffering so badly with morning sickness in my pregnancy, we cancelled our first viewing and almost didn't make it to the re-scheduled one either.
But we did - and we finally found a house that checked off every necessity on our list - but also every want.
We loved every room in the house when we looked around, we liked the area....
And then I walked out into the back garden and I saw the sea....and I was sold.
I knew I had to live here.
Being able to look out at the sea there in the distance from my kitchen window when I'm making up bottles in the morning, or from my computer desk while I'm working, or from my garden while I'm playing with Tyne is the best feeling.
And being just a stones throw from the beach is something all of us really love - there's not just one beach nearby, there are several - Tyne loves nothing more than playing in the sand and so at least a couple of times each week, weather permitting, we go to a couple of the beaches for the afternoon - he sits & digs holes in the sand, and Jon & I get to sit back and just relax taking in the view.
Because living here in Paignton has been so therapeutic for me thanks to its beautiful views, I was so surprised to see that it's been included in Direct Blinds competition to find Britains Worst View - you can see the five finalist photos HERE on Facebook.
Direct Blinds have asked me to share my favourite of the views on offer here in Devon, and I was spoilt for choice - we love spending time at the various beaches and at the Pier and I'm forever snapping away at the lovely views.
Any of these could be my favourite:
But if I had to narrow it down, I'd have to say that this view is my ultimate favourite...it's the view from my back garden.
Ok the sea is way off in the distance and I'm sure plenty of people have much better views from their home - but to me it's pretty much a dream come true. And I'm so grateful for it every day.