Down By The Seaside

Years ago I was taken on a whirlwind tour of Cheshire by my uncle. He'd been in the army for years, strange cold-war postings near Norway and all that - or so the legend I've constructed goes. We explored the Mersey River mudflats, and found a corroded magazine containing live cartridges - from a Messerschmidt 109 fighter plane. The Germans had flown over and strafed and attacked ships on the Mersey a few years back - and anyway we brought the magazine back to my uncle's shed, and detonated the cordite left over. Amazing - live rounds after decades of immersion in mud. We then had a curry lunch heated over an outdoor stove somewhere on a river bank. He told me then that the best spice is hunger. I always remember that when I go camping.

Years ago again the family was at the seaside somewhere in England. Receding tides exposed sand and seaweed and shells - Cockles and Mussels alive alive-o. I have sporadic memories of England - ponds and shops and greenery and daffodils and the smell of diesel fuel and the feel of coins and the taste of cereal and tea had with the newspapers and small living rooms with electric fireplaces and a people ill at ease. At least, these are my memories. Double-decker buses and three-wheel cars - my gran had one I think. She later had a mini that sat in a shed at the end of the road behind her house with a brick wall encircling the back garden. I played in the meadow out back behind the road.

I walked Monty at Cherry Beach last evening, it was dark and drizzling and filled with gusty winds blowing off the lake. After cursing my firesteel and having a hard time finding tinder that would catch, I got a smoky fire going, and soon the smoke left and I sat on the beach with a fire in the darkness. Walking there amongst the trees and through the grasses and vegetation I smelled England again. It was a transitory smell, it flickered on and I was there again and then it went away, replaced by old memories.

Down by the seaside,
See the boats go sailing.
Can the people hear,
What the little fish are saying.

People turned away.
People turned away.

Down in the city streets,
See all the folk go racing.
No time left,
To pass the time of day.

People turned away.
People turned away.
So far away, so far away.

Do you still do the twist,
Do you find you remember things that well.
Some folks twistin' every day,
Though sometimes it's awful hard to tell.

Out in the country,
Hear the people singing.
Singing about their progress,
Knowing where they're going.

People turned away.
People turned away.

Sing loud for the sunshine,
Pray hard for the rain.
And show your love for lady nature,
And she will come back again.

People turned away.
People turned away.
Now they know where they're going.

Most Popular Posts