I’m starting to really enjoy the low life (energy-wise, that is). On Sunday, the sun breaking through called for a trip to the seaside. We hastily packed some sarnies, some plums and a bottle of water and took the next train seawards. Seaford, it turned out, was our destination. But it could have been Bexhill, Bishopstone or Brighton. The trains were plentiful, even on a Sunday. Half an hour after stepping out of our door we were stripped down and settled on to the shingly Seaford beach. It was barely populated, and the sea itself empty, waves plopping on the beach and the Newhaven ferry pooping in the distance.

The boys played in the sea and invented a complex game involving throwing pebbles at each other, and my mate and I settled into an afternoon of napping and reading; reading and napping. One of the best pastimes on earth, I reckon. As evening drew in we headed home, ice creams in hand. Cost of travel: £5 for four. Cost to the earth: affordable, even, probably, for six billion of us. Pleasure factor: high. Britain, apparently, is less happy than in the 1950s. Could it be that voluntary simplicity on a fossil fuel diet could lead us towards greater happiness?



Life’s a beach: and then the oil runs out. Picture from Simon Dale's
photoblog Quotidian