When I was growing up some of my school friends would go away down to the coast for the Christmas holidays.
I never did. I just hung around the house or caught the bus to the shopping centre. Watched television. Worked part time.
Actually, not entirely true. Our family did go on a couple of holidays together but they are vague and distant memories in my head now.
My friends would come back from a few weeks of beach living and tell me all about it.
Most would stay in a caravan that was in a permanent spot in a seaside caravan park. Some would camp amongst the coarse vegetation that hugged the sandy beaches that they would spend the days on.
For teenagers, evenings were spent walking the streets eating fish and chips and making eyes at each other. There was always a fairground to visit and it seemed as though everyone had fun when they went down there.
When they told me about their holidays there would always be a story of a holiday romance.
One girl, Debbie, told me all about Tony, the slick Italian she lost her virginity to on the grassy sand dunes of Rye back beach. They would send letters to each other for a while after that until she dropped him for someone else. I loved listening to her graphic description of the event. She was so very grown up after that.
She tried to match me up with his best friend Enzo but told me that I had to say I was sixteen because Enzo was eighteen. The match never went ahead. There was no way that I would go on a blind date behind my parents back. It was an act fraught with danger, particularly because at the time I was only about fourteen, if that.
Once at school a boy in my class came back from the Christmas holidays looking different. His hair was bleached blonde and he had a swagger to his walk. He had lost his virginity when on holiday down the beach and it had turned him into a man, albeit a very young one.
Over the years I have heard people talk about holiday romances. Brief, intense and poignant couplings in far away places. Coming home with a heavy heart and sunburnt skin. Coming home with a new awareness.
I remember when I was living on my own the song 'Boys Of Summer" by Don Henley was released. The whole tune just created the most visual thoughts in my head of what it must be like to have experienced a holiday romance.
Somehow I always felt I was missing out on something. Some sort of rite of passage. Or a secret story to nurture in my later years.
I have had a few delightful beachside trysts with the odd regular boyfriend or two in my younger days. But they always came home with me and continued to be in my life. So, they do not really qualify for the traditional holiday passion. When those relationships ended there were no enticing memories I wanted to take with me into my old age.
The opportunity for a holiday romance has long passed me by and I am perfectly okay with that.
But the other night I was outside and it was late afternoon. The air was so warm with the wind blowing madly around. The smell of the sea was in the air and it sounded like the wind when it rushed across the sand on a wild surf beach many years ago.
It was the sound of a memory that I didn't really have but felt I may have almost had it.
I know I was on a windswept beach once. Alone, just looking at the water rushing in to the sandy edge, curling over and rushing out.
And it was warm.
And it was a long time ago.
And I wished that someone loved me right at that moment.
All those years ago and still I can recall that very wistful moment. That unrequited longing and the loneliness that came with it.
That is what my holiday romance memory is.
The wishful thoughts of a young girl many, many years ago.