Sea salt on the lips

The taste shook me. I always thought that Coke just tasted better from the old glass bottle — but turns out that’s not true. My missing ingredient from ‘everyday coke’ is apparently sea salt. A coating on the lips and a slice of lemon. Like my first sips aged 6, in Greece with mum and dad when we spent most weekends messing about at the beach.

It’s normally a smell that takes me back. I always get it when I step off the plane in Greece — the heat kicking back off the runway. It always shocks me how fresh the memory is. Years roll away in an instant.

Now 38 years on I’m sat with my two at a beach-side shack on our own summer trip. Their childhood different to mine in lots of ways— I wonder if they’ll have the same warm memories. Or has that been taken away from them?

Elena is being mildly annoying, playing up to her established toddler role (she’s 12). Jonah (15) breaking away from his teenage detachment to reveal flashes of a more easily impressed little boy. I love the first days of a long holiday.

Everything feels ok.