What nicer way to spend a (rare) hot and sunny day in England than heading down to the beach? There was nowhere I would rather be.
According to my brother, you can’t live anywhere in Britain more than 100 miles from the sea. Seeing as we are a series of islands, he is probably right. So there is really no excuse for not going to the beach from time to time. We had been planning to go for a while, seeing as we’re stuck at home twiddling our thumbs waiting to go back to school. I mean there’s lots of work I could be doing…but that’s not the point of summer holidays, is it? We decided we simply had to go down to the beach at West Wittering, and take full advantage of the weather whilst it was still here.
We did all the traditional British beachy things.
We put up a windbreak (vital piece of equipment). We insisted on getting into and swimming in the sea (yes I mean the Channel – yes it was cold). We built a sandcastle (we are probably too old, but inside I believe no one is too old to build a sandcastle) and then destroyed it with buckets of water. We wore jumpers over our swimming costumes and shivered reading our books. We ate fish and chips and Flake 99s. Our bucket was stolen by the boys next to us who then proceeded to fill it with water and pour it over us from behind the windbreak. We complained about people smoking and littering. We were approached by the tide coming in, and had to move backwards a few inches, and then further backwards 10 minutes later. We played French cricket, rallied with our bats and balls, and chased each other down to the waves. We jumped the waves. As soon as we got home, we ran a hot bath, made hot chocolate and warmed up.
We were, my brother, my Dad and I, the three Musketeers.
The beach was heaving, full of tourists, enterprising grandparents, bored parents struggling to keep their children occupied and teenagers burning in order to perfect their tan. But earlier on in the day, around 8:00, when we first arrived at the beach, it was a far cry from the chaos that ensued later in the day. There were no shrieks from children who had dropped their ice cream. There were few people. There were no frantic parents worrying about their lost children (always position yourself somewhere identifiable when the beach gets busy e.g. in front of the beach hut with yellow doors). There were no announcements from lifeguards stating that one should not use inflatables considering strong offshore winds, or that the owner of a lurid green BMW Z4 had blocked everyone into the car park.
No. It was still. It was quiet. It was peaceful.
Here is a poem I wrote about today. I don’t usually tend to share my poems, as I get a bit self conscious and people think it’s weird to write poems. To be honest, even my parents think it’s weird that I write poems. But this blog is about my life, and I wrote this poem, so I am going to share it. If you think I’m weird, I’m sorry… but at least you’re not alone!
So, here goes:
Heaven’s Light – inspired by an early morning walk on West Wittering beach 16/08/2016
Heaven’s bright light strikes the water.
Rain ceases. Clouds disperse.
Water shimmers, sparkles, shines.
An embracing cloak of August heat wraps
Around a pale body, sending shivers of warmth
Down a chilled spine.
Warm golden sand stretches from end to end,
Glimmering, gleaming, glittering,
Forming oases in the distance.
The waves lick the shore.
The birds sing to dusty dunes.
The wind whispers as it whips across the bay.
Salt air lingers on the tip of the tongue.
The turn of the page, as a chapter draws to a close.