I’m fortunate enough to live about 15 minutes away from a beach, even if it is a beach that has a reputation for not having a sea! Every now and again there seems to be a high tide and I have once seen the sea get to the sea wall but, usually, there’s just miles of sand (as pictured above).
I enjoy going to the beach but it is definitely a place better with company than on your own. Walks, BBQs, bonfires, sits – all things good at the beach, but all things better when there’s someone else there with you.
I have some friends who spend a lot of time at the beach with their water based hobbies. We went one time and, having just learnt to drive and owning a car, what’s the best thing to do on an empty beach when there’s a few of you? No, not sand castles.
And no, not that either. Well, not what I was thinking anyway. Minds out the gutter, please. Besides, sand gets everywhere.
The answer I was looking for… handbrake turns. Great idea until your spinning 900cc 1989 Ford Fiesta attracts a gaggle of becapped local youths who want to join in. It becomes an even worse idea when you have to pay for a replacement suspension arm.
My friends have a load of massive kites because they’re kind of a requirement for hobbies such as kite surfing and kite buggying. They lent me one of the smaller ones to have a go with once upon a time, although I stuck with dry land and (mostly) my own two feet.
The last time I flew a kite was as a kid. It cost not a lot of money from a corner shop in Wales and featured a picture of Dennis the Menace. The one I was presented with on this occasion was 2 metres long and had more strings than a… A… Urm… Thing with a lot of strings.
It got laid out and I was given the handle and a harness. The thing lifted off and I sank backwards, sitting on the harness as it was pulled against me by the kite. Off I went, leaving two near parallel lines in the sand behind me as I was dragged along the beach.
In the excitement, I got about as giddy as I did when I first got a car moving on my first driving lesson. On that occasion I was so happy that I forgot to change gear. On this occasion I was so happy that I failed to account for the fact that wind speed drops. That is accompanied by a loss of pull from the kite meaning that everything I’m putting backwards results in me sitting down on the sand, hard.
(Do you now see what I’ve done with the post title?! Beach bums… Sore bums on the beach…? Oh, never mind.)
Now, kite analogies are a sore point for me ever since I’ve only been seen as a rock holding one down rather than a wind supporting its flight. But to take that further, the kite is never in control of itself and relying on the wind to fly is great until it goes away, leaving the kite to crash pretty hard and lie there abandoned and useless until another gust comes to support it.
That’s why I think I’ll stick to the handbrake turns. At least I felt in control and it was me doing the driving.
Can you hear, what I hear?
It’s calling you my dear.
Out of reach
(Take me to my beach).
I can hear it, calling you.
I’m coming, not drowning,
Swimming closer to you.
(Take me to my beach.)
Pure Shores by All Saints