Thursday, 21 May 2009

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!


It's a pretty daft hankering for someone who lives in almost the dead-centre of the country, but I just love to be by the sea. When I was a girl, we lived in counties quite close to the east coast in the UK and a day-trip to the seaside was bliss. Well, when I say 'bliss' we're talking the North Sea here. Like everyone else my age, I had one of those ruched cotton swimsuits which looked like floral bubble-wrap. On reflection, it did take on some of the same properties when wet and acted like a bouyancy aid, trapping air in all the little fabric bubbles. Not that anyone in their right mind would actually be swimming in the North Sea. The other essential swimming accoutrement in those days was a cardigan two sizes too small, boiled to near-extinction in the Baby Burco and squeezed through the mangle just for good measure. This felted garment was perfect for keeping the biting sand-laden east wind from scouring the skin off your skinny goosebumped limbs. Running around in the dunes warmed you up, and getting your legs stung and whipped by the marram grass got the blood circulating. Ah, happy days!
not me, but a brilliant photo of the swimsuit!

This picture doesn't quite convey my delight at a day at the seaside - I think I'd just had my ice-cream confiscated. The legend on the back says '1953 - Aberdeen' - not quite the French Riviera, but seemingly warm enough for sundresses, although my Uncle Dan seems to think brogues and Argyll socks are de rigeur beachwear. See how all the women in deckchairs have brought their knitting?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm a little younger than you Chrissie but I remember the swimsuit with fondness - things changed more slowly in Ireland. The swimsuit was frequently accompanied by the rubberized swimming cap. If your ears survived the application of said cap, they would certainly 'come a cropper' upon removal. Unfortunately, my mum never learnt the trick with the cardi so we just accepted the lacerations as part of a fun day out! I love your reminiscences - they make me laugh out loud.
Anne

Chrissie said...

Coo, you were posh - we never had swimming caps, rubberised or otherwise!

Art4Sol said...

I miss those days where you'd pack up a picnic and spend the whole day at the beach, not just a brief visit...where you would just forget about everything else and have fun till the sun set.

Florcita said...

What a cool picture! I was born by the sea and lived there until I moved to The Netherlands... and although this country has fame for all its water, I live down south where there is no water... and I miss it. I miss the ocean.
My mom, avid knitter, goes everywhere with it. Goes to visit someone, whips it out and keeps knitting and chatting...

Chrissie said...

Oh Marion you must miss the sea!
Art - I think we ought to do that again - but by the Mediterranean perhaps!

julielea said...

I've just enjoyed a delightful half hour catching up on your blog Chrissie... what a joy! A feast for the eyes, mind and heart... You've created a wonderful blog-space of sensitivity and beauty with great humour to boot!!! xxx