The title of our writing-group subject this month is Seize the Day – and I think it’s quite tricky to be original with that; I’m not sure what I think of what I’ve written, it certainly needs some more work!
Seize the Day
“Come on, let’s do it, do it now! We’re never going to have another chance!”
He was so enthusiastic, and even as I was thinking, yes, we will have loads of other chances I ran with him along the edge of the quay and to the gate which the man was just pushing closed.
“Two more!” Barley shouted thrusting a ten pound note into the outstretched hand. The man had the sort of expression which showed he would have waited even if we’d been in less than the mad dash, and we went up the wobbly gangplank. Barley bounded up, I was more cautious and a sailor took my hand and steadied me and helped me onto the boat.
Barley found a place near the front, a gap between two older couples. There was actually only room for him but one of the women, obviously reading my face, made her husband budge up and there was just room for me, although I realised I was sitting on her skirt.
Barley took my hand, he was very excited, it was his usual way, but he was super-excited this time, and my heart sank a little lower. “We have to do everything when we have the chance! We have to take every opportunity!”
“Quite right, young man,” an old duffer on the other side of him said. “Seize the day, I say!”
“Look before you leap, Melvin,” said the woman sitting next to me, and I realised we had squeezed in between a couple. “Fools rush in, Melvin!” The man sitting beside her was with an old dear on the other side.
“Nonsense, Sandra, carpe diem and all that!”
They argued across us about things they had missed out on by not ‘seizing the day‘ and pickles they’d got into by rushing in like fools. Well this was going to be a jolly jaunt, and the boat lurched away from the quay and I hoped I wouldn’t feel queasy. Usually I’m fine, but sometimes that nasty nausea overtakes me. I was wedged between Barley and Sandra and could only look back towards Hamwick where we were staying for a few days. It was a pleasant enough little place, but little was the word. It had the feeling of somewhere which was on the up, a nice pub/restaurant and a few touristy shops round the tiny quay, and a few more normal shops away from the harbour. Hamwick might be on the up, but it had some way to go. The tiny village was next to Strand and ran into the big town, but Strand was fairly unremarkable.
“I’m going to see if there’s a better view at the front,” Barley said and left me, which gave me more room to turn and look at the sea.
I didn’t know why Barley had wanted to come here, to be honest our relationship was on the wane, so was this an attempt to bring us back together? Was going on a boat trip, an hour long tour of the coastline and an opportunity, maybe to see some seals, a way of rekindling what seemed to me to be the smouldering embers of ‘us‘? We had been wandering along the edge of the harbour when quite suddenly he’d decided to go on the boat trip and grabbing my hand dashed to get on board.
Oh well, it was pleasant enough, and lunch would have to wait… we could have had lunch and then come on the coastal tour, they went every two hours… we could have come later…
The captain or someone was giving us a commentary and I began to wonder where Barley was, no doubt he’d found a better place with a better view but couldn’t get back to me or he’d lose it. The captain was pointing out dolphins! Well this was exciting and we all stood up and the old man, Melvin, let me lean in front of him and I looked where he was pointing, and there were a couple of the gorgeous creatures, racing along beside us, grinning broadly as they leapt and dived. It was unbelievable and the cliché of ‘’a dream come true’ jumped into my mind.
So maybe Barley had been right, thanks to him I’d seen real live dolphins which may not have accompanied the later boat! Melvin sat down again but I kept standing, just in case the dolphins returned. I glanced over my shoulder, looking for Barley, had he seen them? Had he been on the right side of the boat?
In actual fact, Barley wasn’t interested… he was far more interested in the woman who’d sat by us in the little pub last night, who’d joined us for the quiz… her name was Laura and they were extremely interested in each other, her red hair flowing over his arm as he held her.
I sat down and seated I couldn’t see them. Carpe diem, indeed Barley, seize the day… yes you have… and I shall make the most of the opportunity you’ve given me.