Sunday, 6 August 2017

Safe Harbour





Dear Reader,





                                                                                       Deck Chairs


I see this week that beach deck chairs are going to be phased out by local councils amid plans to make seaside resorts more 'continental'.  In my childhood, my parents took me and my sister to Great Yarmouth beach in Norfolk, for picnic lunches, swimming and sandcastle play. They paid for two striped deck chairs and sat happily in them all day, for the sum of about one shilling and sixpence (9p in today's money).  This is what English people did, and still do, and still like to do, I would think.  If we wanted to be more 'continental' we would go to the continent and sit in cafes, watching people go by.  But sitting in a deck chair, on an English beach, eating an egg and cress sandwich, watching the tide ever changing and hearing the seabirds cry, is a peaceful and very enjoyable experience, especially if you are sitting in a comfortable traditional stripey deck chair.

Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of British Hospitality, recently said: 'We celebrate the deck chair as a British icon.  Instead of trying to remove the emblematic part of our culture we should be celebrating its striped contribution to the 250 million visits made to our coast each year, which generated £17 million for the UK economy.'  Incidentally, ancient versions of the deck chair have been discovered by archaeologists dating back as far as classical Rome.  Their modern name was born in the mid-19th century when they became popular among passengers on ocean liners.

                                                                           *

Safe Harbour

Old love settles for a safe harbour,
a place of quiet embracing
rocked in a gentle sea.

Young love is daring, dangerous,
rich in its fullness,
sticky in substance, ripe with seed.

Old love has a slower pace,
enriched with years of touch.
No need to preen and strut the hour.

The rib cage joins,
the bone becomes one bone,
the breath one breath.
Calm waters still seduce.
                                                                           *

I will be taking a summer break now until Sunday, September 10th, and hope you will rejoin me then.
Have a good and peaceful holiday, and thank you for reading my blog in the last year.  It gives me great pleasure to know that people from all over the world enjoy it.

With very best wishes, Patricia  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it would be very sad to lose the sight of the deck chair on British beaches. I have similar memories of happy childhood days playing on the sand.
And what a beautiful poem to end this series of blogposts. I very much look forward to more in September. xx