Jaqui's Daily Blog

A Bench, a Band and Two Clever Dogs

I am singing that well-known sea-side song: “Oh, I do love to be beside the sea-side.” Young Faris is giving me “The Look”, the one that says, louder than any words: “Oh, pur-lease, not again, Nanni, this is possibly even worse than your rendition of The Lonely Goat Herd.”


The Middle of the Darling Daughters has driven me home after my Baby-Sitting Adventure (see yesterday’s Blog) and we are off on a mission to Littlehampton. We need to introduce Young Faris to Littlehampton’s Longest Bench, on which his name has been engraved for posterity. We take lots of photographs and I send silent thanks to lovely Linda at Arun District Council who arranged this for me.                              


What we hadn’t realised, before we set off, is that today is Armed Forces Day so there is lots going on to entertain us. Here is the Littlehampton Concert Band. They are playing “Sussex by the Sea” which is one of my favourite pieces, Sussex being my adopted county. I’m an Essex Girl by birth and you know what everyone says about Essex Girls. All most unfair, of course, but you can hardly blame me for allowing myself to be adopted by good old Sussex by the Sea. This afternoon I am indebted to the Littlehampton Concert Band because they enable me to sing “And the brass band played diddly-om-pom-pom” to Young Faris. He decides to humour me and bestows a slow, fat smile upon me. Though, of course, he might just have been smiling at “Sussex by the Sea”.


Mr B and the Middle of the Darling Daughters are smiling too as they have just visited the Scouts’ tea tent and emerged with three cups of coffee and three slices of delicious flap-jack for the amazingly low price of £2.10. We are pleased to have swelled the coffers of the local Scout Group but feel a bit guilty that they have charged us less than one small skinny latte would have cost us in Costa Coffee. We sit in the sunshine, sipping our coffee, munching on our flap-jacks and enjoying the last rousing chorus from the band. Summer seaside days - there is nothing like them.


Next we happen across the Canine Partners stand where we meet two four legged friends, George and Charlie, and their human partners.  Mr B and I, regular readers may remember, enjoyed a talk about this inspirational organisation at one of our quarterly U3A meetings so we are pleased to stop to chat. George is encouraged by his partner to shake hands with the Middle of the Darling Daughters. She accepts his paw somewhat gingerly, I notice. I introduce George and Charlie to Young Faris with much “woof, woofing” by way of explanation. Babe and dogs alike observe me with a kind of distant pity. Rather than put her donation in the collecting bucket, the Middle of the Darling Daughters is encouraged to throw her coins on the ground, whereupon clever George picks them up in his mouth and deposits them in the bucket. We all applaud, heartily.


Back home we enjoy a take-away meal in the sunny back garden and congratulate ourselves on a short but successful seaside outing.  I am pleased that Faris has his own slat on the Longest Bench to add to those for his cousins.  I am excited at the thought of all the sunny, seaside days to come. Hence the inscription on his slat:


“For Faris Adli. Let the seaside adventures begin!”

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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