We wanted a seaside escape.
I suppose most of us hankered for a beach hut, and eventually got one, to achieve that tranquillity and discreet hedonism that goes with a 12 x 8 patch of sand, shale or promenade beside the sea.
Somehow, too many of us went for it, and scarcity and perceived chic racked up price rises which even outpaced the hysterical inflation of house prices which we saw, notably, in 2004.
Last year, prices in Mudeford, Dorset - always the barometer of beach hut real estate value - peaked at about £160,000. In 05, with more than 20 huts for sale, they've settled back to closer to £80,000 (thanks to beach hut guru Tim Baber for price guide). But even at that price, people cannot fail to view their bijou home from home dispassionately primarily as an investment, and there have been cases of family committees forcing the sale of a hut which some members didn't want to part with.
There are other anomalies - so many people aspire to occupying a beach hut that they clamour for information on where you can rent a hut. Yet the perceived correct rental charge (set by the precedent of council-owned huts) often makes the hassle of renting them out simply not worth it (checking it and tidying it beforehand, ensuring the payment goes through, passing the keys over, and afterwards checking the inventory and tidying up again). Not to mention complications with your insurance.
For all that, there is nothing to beat the ecstatic cosiness and unworldly simplicity of a sun-splashed beach hut interior. Like everything in life, beach huts have their seasons, and - for all our nostalgia for tradition - are caught in a cycle of continual change. So let us accept change, while holding true to the core beliefs of beach hut evolution - that a hut is essentially personal, therapeutic and sacrosanct.