Friday, 1 July 2011
Since being here, I’ve started paying much more attention to what’s going on around me. Listening more, noticing the tiny details, beetles on leaves, the untied shoelaces of a toddler, the spiders' webs on my raspberry bushes.
Last weekend there was an event up on the slopes, Classic Cars I think, there were bands playing for most of the day. At first I thought the music would annoy me, but actually it encouraged me to sit and listen and people watch. The conversations I overheard really brought it home to me that people are people, the way they interact is the same everywhere.
I heard a few comments about the beach huts themselves…
A couple following a man down the grassy slope, he reminded me of an estate agent, seemed to be selling the area to them… Of course you can always get a beach hut, for when you come down for the day. There’s no electricity but people have little gas stoves so they can make a cup of tea… or even a cup of coffee! The couple just nodded enthusiastically.
Another man talking disparagingly about the huts there’s nothing to them, just changing huts really, or you could sit in them when it rains – my thoughts were, how little you know!
An older couple walked past, the woman pointing to a stripy hut and saying very indignantly There it is, I told you it had stripes. The man replying, in an even more indignant tone well you could have just told me the number, while she walked on ahead very quickly.
Then, a sure sign that love isn’t dead… a woman was balancing along the groyne and wobbling. Her other half at first put out his hand to steady her… then thought better of it and pushed her off. However, in his defence, he did then use the excuse of her sitting on the pebbles for a kiss and a cuddle.
Wednesday at the hut was the opposite. It was unbelievably still. The air scarcely seemed to breathe, the tide was way out, seemed to barely skim the seabed – there were no waves, just tiny tiny ripples. Apart from the change in colour from brown/green to silver/blue, the land and water just flowed into one another, both sea and wet sand reflecting the clouds equally well.
When it’s this quiet, every sound sticks out. The plop of a seagull diving, the different languages of seabirds, gull and oystercatcher duets. Swallows swoop past the window, the hum of their wings vibrating amazingly loudly. I can hear the thud and puff of a jogger, and the hiss buzz of tyres on tarmac.
There's something about space and quietness that allows you to notice the little things that usually get drowned in the rush of everyday.