This could be a rather long post, as it seemed part of a rather long dream.
Was It In a Dream?
I’m not even sure it was a dream, as it carried on for a while after I had woken in the morning, that time when you’re not quite awake, but, you’re not asleep either. It started with me being a small boy, probably aged around 6 years old. I was feeling very excited as the whole family were taking a coach ride to the beach for the day. When I say the whole family, I mean everyone. Parents, Brother, Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts, Cousins, Great Uncles and Aunts, so you can see why it seemed a little exciting. A real magical mystery tour.
I can’t recall boarding the coach, I just remember sitting somewhere in the middle and wherever I looked I could see family. They were all smiling, chatting and sharing boiled sweets. I don’t think I have ever felt so happy in my life. After what seemed a short journey, probably because I was so excited, we arrived in the seaside town of Margate. A beautiful, sunny day with no wind and not a cloud in sight. I also had that overwhelming secure feeling you get when you’re with loved ones.
Down On The Beach
Everyone made the short walk from the coach to the beach, finding their own space there. Wherever I looked, all I could see were family members, relatives who have long since left us. Being quite a shy person by nature, I parked myself down at the back of the beach, next to the huge wall that rises up to street level. Bucket and spade in hand together with a small packet of flags, one for each of the home nations, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside
The men had a football and even though some of them were getting on, they all wanted to play, ‘have a knock around’ as they called it. I was asked if I’d like to join in, but it just wasn’t me. I was far too interested in building my simple sandcastle. All the time I was there, music from the local organist at the nearby Lido was playing constantly, the same tune on the Wurlitzer, ‘Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside.’ It didn’t bother me, it was at the right level and a reminder of how life used to be.
Close to where the sea meets the beach, I could see two of my cousins, Cathy and Cynthia, busily making their own sandcastle. It was a huge affair with lots of towers and shells. I was impressed at their imagination, unlike my single turret sandcastle with its solitary Welsh flag on top. Not far away my cousin Ellie-May was sat on a deckchair, deeply engrossed in a book. I couldn’t see the title, but it was obviously grabbing her attention.
The First Goodbyes
As the day wore on, something strange was happening, not just to me, but to everyone else. I was growing older. Certainly, by lunchtime, I was in my mid-twenties. My Grandparents were the first to come over to me and say goodbye. They said they were getting a little tired, had enjoyed the day so far, but decided to go and rest on the coach. We hugged and off they went. Lunch was a picnic type affair and I remember my mother giving me a pork pie which was always my favourite snack.
The organist continued playing ‘Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside’ as the day continued. Cathy and Cynthia’s castle was now a huge affair with a moat and double garage. Ellie-May was still reading, but it was a different book and beside her was a huge pile of different books. The men were still playing football, but as I looked, there were fewer of them. My brother was there and I asked him where Uncle Bryan and Uncle Melvyn were? He said they had got tired and went to sit on the coach. Not long after, he went to the coach too followed closely by my Father.
The day progressed and I continued to get older. My castle was still there, Ellie-May was still reading and Cathy and Cynthia were still adding to their castle. More Aunts and Uncles were retiring to the warmth and the comfort of the coach. It must have been around tea time and I asked my Mother where everyone had gone. ‘Oh, they’re all on the coach, and now I’m going to join them. I’ll catch you later’ and off she went. This was all very strange, no one spoke, we were all getting older and so many had left the beach to sit on the coach.
The Only Ones Left
The drone of ‘Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside’ continued on into the evening. As I stood up and looked around me, the only people left beside me were Ellie-May and Cathy and Cynthia. I could see the coach, still parked at the roadside, its windows all misted because I suppose all the people sat on there talking. I wanted to leave and join everyone on the coach, but there was a guard at the entrance to the beach who was gesturing that I couldn’t leave yet. Without opening his mouth, he managed to explain that the coach wouldn’t leave without any of us so we might as well make the most of it and enjoy our time at the seaside.
Dreams and where they come from, I have no idea. I did enjoy this one as everyone was happy going on a family adventure together. Not everyone gets the opportunity to go away for the day with the WHOLE FAMILY. A happy day and a happy dream. I suppose one day I’ll have to get on the coach. Until then I will enjoy every day at the beach.