Summer is over, at least in astrological terms, and from the perspective of those who have returned to school, so seaside resorts take on a different character. There’s an air of sadness and resignation about the place as people come to terms with the heatwave that didn’t happen again this year, and the days that grow ever shorter until the winter solstice.
The park bandstand lies silent and empty, the boating lake is unperturbed by boat or bird,
and the bowling greens live up to only half their name.
The sand pit craves attentionthe civic beach cleaners have no deadline for completion,and there’s more than enough ice cream to go around.With no one to disturb them the scavengers arrive to clean up.
The place feels as discarded as these sandals, waiting in vain to be loved once again.
And then, like an Indian summer, there is a fresh spark as Ruth stops me to admit to camera envy. A student from Nigeria, she is touring the country having completed her studies in Wales, and with that smile she will bring brightness wherever she goes.
Dropping my daughter at work this morning I stopped to check out the shoreline and was surprised to find two juxtaposed constructions.
The shamanistic origins of the carefully placed cairn of coloured stones were clear, but what was the significance of the structure nearby; an upturned shopping trolley with adjoining bread basket? Had the trolley been used as some sort of visual guide, placed in preparation for the forthcoming summer solstice. Would the sun arise between its wheels on the morning of June 20th?
Did the dark figure in the distance have some part to play? I zoomed in to see him running to sea with a portable altar under his arm.
At the water’s edge he paused to beckon the waves to hear his enchantments.
He then kissed dry land to ensure a safe return from his journey over the racing waters.
And then he seemed to break his back to give himself an excuse not to bother!
Joking aside, like any serious athlete, Mark was doing some stretching to reduce the risk of injury and as you can see he’s a pretty normal guy really.
Still doesn’t explain the shopping trolley though…