Against trend, Cindy and I took an afternoon off last week to take our Melissa down the seaside.
Bit of ‘background’ required here. Cindy never drives out of a car park always finding a space and in the same vain; traffic lights go green or stay green. An oncoming stream of traffic will keep me penned at a junction long enough to grow a marrow in the cup holder. However for ‘erself there will either be no traffic and in the event of any queue having the audacity to appear, it will part, Moses on the banks of the Red Sea-like for her to drive out.
I tell you this because it was with a wee bit of well-hidden glee, as we approached the car park at the end of a no through way, that I spied the CAR PARK FULL sign and frustrated drivers attempting ‘u’ turns. Did Cindy stop? Did she heck! She trundled up to the kiosk “got room for me lovely? “, “over there” the young lady said indicating a free place, she parked, I paid.
“Can I have a bucket and spade Dad-dad ” Melisa asked “course you can” I said and we wandered over to shop-shack-shed-shithole. Having selected the one she wanted I went to pay. A young man slumped in a chair on the pavement chomping his way through a family bag of crisps, blurted £4.50 . For the sake of family harmony, I paid the shyster but did go back to the bucket and spade stand to check the price, non were priced, all were crap.
Immediately, Melissa was wanting to go down to the sea and as we were not about to let her go down to the water solo, I was voted chaperone. Camber Sands tide goes out a loooooong way leaving large knee deep pools, which I had to wade through to keep within sight of Melissa who was running about with a new found friend collecting flotsam and jetsam that “could kill a fish” the collected crap was brought back to the bucket holder, me. There were lots, but the plastic milk bottle, bag of dogs dooings and the sanitary towel best summarised the collection. After an hour or so of chasing the ebbing tide I asked (not demanded) if we could go back, thus setting in motion a sequence of five perhaps six, of “ just one more” as they repeatedly ran back out into the surf.
Finally, we trudged back to the sand dunes, now a distant line on the horizon. On the way I found a pole that had once been part of a windbreak, most see ‘stick’ I see handy 5ft length of 1” dowel and retrieved it for the workshop.
We could not at first find Cindy so wandered back and forth scrutinising the prone bodies for evidence of a Cindy. Like a bizarre identity parade, having staggered a hundred yards down the dunes eyeballing everybody without seeing her, I turned around for another ‘bod’ inspection. Finally, we found her just a few yards in the other direction from where I had started my yomp towards Rye. “I’ve been watching you” she said, not in a kindly way, ”with that mop” she continued eyeing my hair, “ that bloody great shirt, your trousers and those work boots soaked up to your knees and a 6ft stick, glaring at everybody as you mooched around, you looked like a version of the Grim Reaper, people where staring at you!.” People often stare at me, I thought.
On the way home an informative discussion about evolution incited Melissa to say ask if I was once a sheep? prompting much laughter from the ‘kidlet’ and ‘er gran!
Our outing ended at a fish’n’chip restaurant in Tenterden, where was had ample good nosh, several good pots of tea, topped off with good apple crumble swimming in good custard. As our Melissa was now full she asked to leave her crumble. Fortunately, to help address the worlds food waste issues the Grim Reapers sphere of activity had been widened to include the reaping of proper puddings.