I am in the middle of the city on a cool, grey and damp summer’s day…the sounds of sirens, car horns, buses, penetrating my peace. I’m taking myself to the beach….
Not the baking golden sand and exotic beaches of my other dreams but the beaches of my youth, English beaches, some with pebbles, some with sand….. Ice lollies, tea from a thermos, the hiss of our camping stove, some of those hot donuts and maybe a crab sandwich … seaweed, hot stones …pure ozone washing toward me.
Familiar voices from the past call to me…..My dad tells us all a joke,we’ve heard it before and love it ‘but there’s worse to come….’
Twinkle Toes interrogates rock pools with Huey. A proper hug from Uncle Henry the Eighth, some sound advice from Petula, a smile and a word of encouragement from Aunty MTM….Tiddler, kips in the deck chair. Elsie the Greek, Flanagan and Allen smiling wrapping me tightly in fun and laughter.
The sea is icy, it could be warm if I imagined it so, but it never is… we squeal as we enter, the waves wash us to and fro, we taste the salt on our lips.
The ‘wireless’ crackles in the background, Uncle Crab is listening to the cricket….England are winning the test match – the crowd are going crazy. Little D and Little P set off on one of their walks…
We are all there, too many to mention, time travel is amazing! Cousin Curly calls to me, it’s time to go. Maman and Lady Sedgewick pack the bags…Cheesecake and The Roofer coax Huey, Dewey and Louie toward the steps and I wander along the cliff path, chatting happily to Aunty Giggler.
I imagine a seafood restaurant with platters of shell fish, of lobster and cockles, winkles and shrimps, vinegar and pepper, wedges of lemon, crusty bread thickly buttered…dreams blend with reality.
A boat trip? How lovely….