At the Beach

Do you surf like Agatha Christie? Or run on the beach with your dog like Kurt Vonnegut? However you celebrate the summer days, I hope you are having fun!


George Bernard Shaw:

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” (quotation also attributed to Benjamin Franklin and others)

george bernard shaw




Jack London:

“Go strip off your clothes that are a nuisance in this mellow clime. Get in and wrestle with the sea; wing your heels with the skill and power that reside in you, hit the sea’s breakers, master them, and ride upon their backs as a king should.” (from his memoir The Cruise of the Snark)



Agatha Christie:

“Surfing is like that. You are either vigorously cursing or else you are idiotically pleased with yourself.” (from her memoir The Grand Tour: Around the World with the Queen of Mystery)

agatha christie

via the



Kurt Vonnegut (with his Lhasa Apso, Pumpkin)    

“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’” ( from “Knowing What’s Nice,” an essay from In These Times)


Photography by his wife, Jill Krementz via



Joan Didion:

‘I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it.’
(from the Commencement address at the University of California, Riverside, 1975)


photo by her daughter Quintana Roo Dunne for Vogue














65 thoughts on “At the Beach

  1. I love this post and these quotes,Letizia, especially Didion’s (how wise she is!). Here’s another for you: “I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.” – T S Eliot, The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock 😀

    • The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock is one of my favourite poems, Liz! And the more I discover Didion’s work, the more I am in awe. There’s a bold simplicity to her work, or perhaps, honesty, is the better word.

  2. I love the Vonnegut quote: “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’” Advice we could all take!

  3. “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” That’s exactly what I did when reading this post. 🙂

  4. Wonderful post, Letizia. I love the ocean and adventure. Living on a small island in the Pacific for 2 years put sea water in my blood. Every time I’m on or in the water I feel a calmness come over me

    • I’m more of a mountain and lake person but I can appreciate the ocean and beach and understand how others are drawn to it. Hope you’re having a great summer my friend and thank you for the tweet!

    • It was fun searching for quotations and photos for this post. To see these famous writers, not as icons, but as friends on holiday. I hope you’ve been well!

  5. Vonnegut is always a go to for great quotes, Didion on also had me nodding along. Those old surfboards look great, they should be fashion accessory of 2017 methinks. Your posts always make me smile.

  6. Oh Letizia – how wonderful to have the joy of living. A beach is the quintessential embodiment of summer. To breathe the sea air, to feel sand between our toes, to hear the solitary cry of a seagull far in the distance, to squint into sunshine, to feel the warmth of belonging to a world that defines our existence. May we embrace every moment with gratitude. A marvelous post that reminds us to live brilliantly.

  7. Love it, hon! Love me some Vonnegut, but I have to say that Joan killed it at the end. Your post made me want to be reading on the beach instead of sitting on my couch!

    Luckily, I got to put my feet in some sand yesterday evening when we drove out to Sauvie Island on a whim to go swimming. Hard to beat sticking your toes in the warm sand, isn’t it? xo

    • I love that Didion line too! Oregon beaches are so beautiful, my favorite in the US I think. Lucky you to b me able to enjoy them! Thanks for the tweet and hope you have a fantastic weekend 🙂

    • You are so right, they do! Sorry I didn’t respond earlier – my puppy just got spayed and is keeping me busy as I try to keep her from jumping (another example of dogs enjoying life despite adversity haha!).

  8. If my surfing skills are anything like my skiing skills, I’m better off sitting on the sand with a tropical drink!

    Great quotes–almost enough to make me try surfing. Almost. 🙂

  9. Fabulous quotes that remind us to sometimes get out of our writing chair and smell the roses…and the surf and the newly mown grass. I love summer even with the heat and humidity. Maybe I love it BECAUSE of the heat and the humidity and the draw toward the ocean and the sand-scrubbed surf. I’m taking off for the shore in a few days. Yay! 🙂

    • So glad you enjoyed them; I had fun finding them! Sorry for the late reply, I only just saw your comment – thanks for visiting and enjoy the rest of the summer!

  10. Leticia loving all these Black and whites something so cool about them. I love to walk and collect shells on the beach, look for whales out at sea and generally day dream it is my calming place. I feel balanced again when I visit the ocean. Also the best place to read as well.

    • There is something very peaceful about the ocean, the rhythm of the waves perhaps. And I love the black and white photos too, we should take them more often!

  11. Your post reminds me of the fun days as a beach that I’ve had! Here’s another quote: “After a visit to the beach, it’s hard to believe that we live in a material world.” ~Pam Shaw 🙂

  12. Thanks for all these quotes and photos! Especially love Joan Didion’s, poignant indeed as I remember reading her memoirs about how sad it was when both her husband and Quintana had died merely months apart.

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