When between the ages of five and eleven, my family lived in Bognor Regis in
West Sussex, Bognor being a coastal town, a seaside
town. My memory tells me it was almost always
sweltering hot each summer and I have vivid memories of my clothes sticking to
my back, so hot it was. At weekends and
during the school summer holidays, as a family we would often spend a day at
the beach, taking with us my favourite thing – a picnic. Mum would make up her wonderful fare, cheese
and tomato sandwiches which would be deliciously soggy by the time we ate them
(I still love these even now) and boiled eggs mashed up and mixed with Heinz
Sandwich Spread, both these wrapped up in greaseproof paper parcels. There would be her homemade currant buns, so
deliciously soft and sweet and then the big treat of Smiths plain crisps with
the little blue salt bag I loved
sprinkling on the salt and then would crush the crisps into tiny pieces, for in
my child’s mind – it meant I had more.
We children would tread gingerly over the pebble beaches and make our way to the sand, which showed itself at low tide, and then swim in the sea. Dad would join us in the water – but never in trunks, instead rolling up his trouser legs and going for a paddle. The day was always a wonderful adventure and it was rounded off by the treat of soft whipped ice-cream, my favourite being this in an oyster shell cornet, the last delicious bits being sweetened by the marshmallow and coconut which provided the hinge. Sometimes dad would buy a stick of rock, and once home, mum would smash it (with a rolling pin) into little tiny pieces which we three children shared. I loved the sweet smooth outer shell and then the strange feeling of air sucked through the sucked porous middle. Yum!
Oh memories are made of this!
Bare feet and warm sea,
the sweet laughter of children,
gulls squawk overhead.
The above image is of Butlin’s indoor heated swimming pool where we children went for school swimming lessons, and I just had to include it for it evokes so many memories too. I remember it so much, its magical appearance, its smell and the echoing expanse of it all. I also remember us children desperately trying to hide the brief yellow stain that appeared as we peed ourselves, not wanting to leave this wonderful place for even one minute of the wonderful hour we spent there!
These words inspired by Kim at Real Toads – cheers Kim for this wonderful trip down memory lane.
Also shared with the good folk at Poets United - hosted by Mary. Cheers Mary!
Images courtesy of Pinterest.