DREAMING OF THE BEACH (1969)
Dreaming of the beach,
We shuffled out of bed,
And down to the car,
With gritty eyes and demob smiles…
It was still dark.
Dressed in haste, with scant regard
for the pre-dawn chill,
We sat and shivered in shorts and t-shirts,
In the back of an old Hillman Minx.
The car was packed around us.
And we snuggled back down,
The bedding pressed into the cab spaces,
And dreaming of the beach…
We missed the first few hours of the journey.
There was a stop for breakfast,
And then on through the litany
Of small Welsh towns…
Llandovery, Llandeilo, Carmarthan …
Each an interminable distance,
In the bumper to bumper existence,
Of a Whitsun weekend.
And then the promise,
St.Clears and a sign which said,
15 miles to Tenby.
And we are both excitedly looking
For the first sight of the sea,
Beyond the hedgerows,
Over The next brow of a hill…
The long plunge down
like a rollercoaster,
To the sea… The sea!
And we arrive at the Farm,
Negotiate our pitch.
We do not care about this,
The sea can be seen…
And we want to be in it.
“Fill the water can and you can take your little brother
Down to the Beach whilst we put the tent up.”
A chore… The 5 gallon Jerry can is bigger than I am.
I half- fill the can and struggle back to the disaster zone:
Which is my Father’s erection technique.
Mum crushes our enthusiasm…
You need to pump up your airbeds first!
Dad gives us a get out of jail card…
Let them go.
The beach is a long trek away.
Along way down a steep path.
We run and fall,
we run and smile…
Eager for the thrill.
The soft landing
from our helter skelter
The sand and the sea…
And the promise of a week
spreading in front of us,
like a banquet,
a smorgasbord of sensory delight…
This is what we have waited for,
Dreaming of the beach.
Dreams that crystallise
Into a life-long obsession.