Do you remember a day at the seaside? I don’t know if people still bring their kids for a day at the seaside. Do they?
A day at the seaside, by Jesus. What an amazing experience. When I was young, it involved a huge crowd of people forcing themselves into a small car, knowing that there would be at least one stop for children to puke. What was that? Why did kids throw up in cars? I don’t think that happens any more, though I could be completely wrong. For all I know, children all over the country are projectile vomiting at the very thought of a weekend at the seaside.
But I digress. A day at the seaside involved stuffing a huge crowd of children, old people and harassed middle-agers into a small, smelly motor car for a two-hour trip to the coast that today would take perhaps twenty minutes.
It wasn’t easy, with all the puking and the fighting, and even when you arrived, there had to be another fight. Where will we go?
There was a magic to it. The smell of the ocean. The seaweed. Shrimps in rock-pools. Fishing nets. The rush of the Atlantic. Getting turned upside-down by the waves. Picking winkles.
Yep. Even as I write, it all comes back.
And later, buying candy floss. Maybe a go in the swing-boats to make you throw up again before getting back in the car.
Harassed parents. Sandwiches. Ham and butter and sand. Flasks of tea. Sun-shades. Bad cameras. Smile.
I was that child and I was that parent.
Can I tell you something? It was fun.