The power of the sea

 


‘No ball games,’ the notice used to say. It was on the side of a house which was next to a car park. The notice had been there for a long time. Children could not resist kicking a ball against the white painted wall. Apart from leaving it unsightly the constant thudding noise inside must have been intolerable.

The notice has been painted over now. There is no need for it to be there. When did you last see someone kicking a ball against a wall? Mind you there was a group of young people standing on the side with heads down tapping away at their mobiles.

We are relying on our mobiles now I have done away with the landline. It was strange coming home from holiday and automatically looking at the telephone table to see if there was a flashing light telling of stored messages. There is no phone there and not even the table.

All my life I have had a landline phone. We had to have one because my parents ran a farm and they needed to be in touch with business contacts especially as we lived down an isolated lane. Our number was 202. If I was away from home and needed to contact my parents in an emergency, I went in a phone box and dialled 100 for the operator and then gave the name of the village and our 202 number.

There seemed to be an emergency on our holiday last week. The coast had been quiet all day and there had even been a minke whale and harbour porpoises passing by. We ate our fish and chips at £10 each and watched families on the beach many of them pulling something new to me. They had little carts full of towels and clothes for the day. The children were going in the sea between the two red and yellow flags put there by the lifeguards, who watched from a little hut.

In the evening a storm got up and the waves were crashing on the sides of the prom. They had nowhere to go as they hit the wall and so leapt up into the air. The red flag was flying which means ‘Danger do not go in the water’. But there were two young boys in the sea with surf boards. We rushed to the hut and told the lifeguard, but he already knew and was watching keenly.

I sat in a shelter whilst the waves sprayed a young family who delighted in the adventure.

“They have momentarily forgotten about their mobile phones,” their mother told me. “Now they are fascinated by this huge power of nature.”

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star on Thursday)



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