Deck chairs. Don’t you just love them? I wonder who invented them...
I didn’t have time to ponder for long because
we were setting up on the beach, the Middle of the Darling Daughters, baby Faris and I. Faris didn’t do a lot to contribute to the set-up, to be honest, but he laughed mightily at our efforts and was clearly pleased to be at the seaside.
We have taken him to the seaside several times before but, as regular readers may recall, our visits have generally coincided with high winds, otherwise known (to us, if not to anyone
else) as “Windy Millers.” We could hardly believe our luck today, with just a gentle sea breeze, a warm sun, and a whole, lovely seaside day at Littlehampton stretching out before us. We set up our deck-chairs, spread out our blanket, unfolded
the UV tent, and prepared for a Fun Time.
In the Olden Days, I have heard tell, Littlehampton was known as “The Children’s Paradise.” No change
there then. You could tell Young Faris was in Seventh Heaven. He lifted his little face to the breeze which was ruffling his curly locks and beamed hugely. Time for some Seaside Shenanigans, his mother told him. Or, should we say, Seaside
She-Nanni-gans, she chortled, merrily. As the Nanni in question, I wasn’t arguing with that.
There is, it is true, some seaside fun which Faris, at just
short of twenty weeks old, is a little too young to sample in the way his older cousins do. Candy floss comes to mind, along with hot doughnuts, rides on The Twister and interminable games on the Crazy Golf course. But the Middle of the Darling Daughters
was determined that whatever he was able to sample, he would.
So we built a sandcastle. It had to be done. A few minutes digging produced a small mound of sand
(well, he is only a small baby, there is no point in over-awing him with my sand-castling abilities. There is time a-plenty for that) onto which I carefully upturned a bucket of sand. The resultant castle looked truly splendid until I tried to stick my Union
Jack flag on top at which it all crumbled in quite spectacular fashion. After another equally unsuccessful attempt, we planted a sandy star atop our castle and decorated it with brightly coloured plastic moulds – a snail, a crab, a rabbit, you get the
idea. Faris looked impressed, I thought. He wasn’t quite so impressed with his first paddle but then that was probably his mother’s fault for squealing when the cold sea water lapped over her feet.
At 4 o’clock we decided to have a stroll along the prom, prom, prom. At least, Faris slept and we strolled. At the little cafe in Marine Gardens, the Middle of the Darling Daughters bought us each an ice-cream.
She had a Magnum and I, well, I somehow managed to order myself a “Sponge Bob Square Pants” orange lolly. I can’t see me living this one down for a long time....
We caught the famous Littlehampton Boat Train back along the prom. We thought we were too late and that we had missed the last train back but, hurrah, it was still running after all. Faris (now wide awake) absolutely loved it. I showed
him how to wave at people and advised him how to tell which people were “wavers” who would return our greetings, and which people were not. Most of the time, though I say it myself, I am right. I have made quite a study of wavers over the year,
I could probably write a learned thesis on the subject. (I am a waver, by the way, but you probably guessed that.) A ride on the Boat Train was just the ticket to complete our Jolly Seaside Jaunt.
Some days are just perfect.
This was one of them.