Seaside holidays

Having just walked along the beach in the dark and in the rain, the tide not long out so the sand was soggy and gelatinous, I thought I’d share again something I wrote about other beaches:

Seaside holidays are part of most people’s childhood memories. For us, living in Cambridge, Norfolk was the nearest place to go. We didn’t have a car so I guess we must have taken a coach; we would have packed our suitcases and gone to the bus station and caught a bus… did we have to catch a second bus to get to the holiday camp we always went to? I have no idea and sadly anyone who could tell me is no longer with us. We went to Hopton, a small village on the coast, to a holiday camp.

Now we live on the west coast, not the east, and we actually live in a seaside town. Anyone who has read the book or seen the film of Brighton Rock by Graham Greene will know seaside towns are strange places. Holiday makers might get a snapshot of an idyll, but living here all the year round you have a different view. Seaside towns attract a lot of people, some looking for seasonal work, some put into bed and breakfast accommodation by distant local authorities, some resident in rehab places…

We went to he south coast recently, to Brighton. Brighton was probably the first modern seaside town, made famous by the royal family in the eighteenth century when they took up sea bathing. When we visited the sun was beaming down, people were wandering about enjoying themselves, eating ice-creams, paddling, going on rides, all the things you would expect.

We stayed overnight in a small hotel; as we arrived we notice a man lying on a mattress covered in blankets and with a few boxes, bags and empty bottles beside him. As we went out to go for a walk, the man was engaged in a foul-mouthed exchange with a plump young woman and a lanky lad; it was obvious that they had been drinking, and passers-by hurried on, glancing over their shoulders to look. When we returned the young woman was sitting on the blankets, with the man who was still lying there, shouting at people, the lad had disappeared. We went out for a meal,, and on our return, the three of them were sleeping covered in the blankets… jus there in the street as people passed by… and the next morning,they were still there,awake and with bottles and cans already open beside them…

The other side of seaside towns.

BRIGHTON 2015 (4)

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