A very young (7 months old) Ollie, in the sea. He still had a collar back then.
The rain stopped the day before yesterday, and the sun came out today. Julie was on a day off from work, so we decided to take Ollie the dog to the seaside for the afternoon.
Wells-next-the Sea is our nearest seaside town, only 30 minutes in a car. There is a large dog friendly section of beach, and a pine forest leading up to the sand dunes. Unfortunately, the sun was not present there, as it was shrouded in coastal cloud. That didn’t matter, as it was warm, and very busy, with both day trippers and holidaymakers there for their annual summer break.
Ollie had great fun in the sea, which was surprisingly warm, and enjoyed meeting up with all the other dogs. Julie and I got a lot of good exercise, and some rare quality time together.
I love the English seaside towns like Wells. Unpretentious, unstructured, and pretty much unchanged for decades. The fish and chip shops, the tacky sea front gift shops, the beach cafes, and the amusement arcades. All part of my past, and still there in the present.
Kids wander along clutching inflatables, buckets and spades, and ice creams. The small coastal railway is as popular now as it was 50 years ago, despite computer games, satellite TV, and Alton Towers. Passers-by wave at excited children as they make the short journey to the beach, or on the return to the town.
There is almost no graffiti, very little rubbish, and the shops still close at a normal time. On the beach, families still make sand castles, or dig channels towards the sea. Children run excitedly into the waves, watched by parents sitting with rolled up trousers, busy preparing picnic food, or treats. By the time 5 pm approaches, long lines of tired kids, some carried by their mums and dads, snake down the long harbour wall, returning to the town, the car parks, or the nearby caravan camp.
They are ready for those fish and chips, and an early night before doing it all again tomorrow.
Who needs Disneyland?