Posted: June 19th, 2021
The harbour begins to wake as the rhythmic chug of boat engines slowly return. The waves explode like bombs against the harbour wall. Fog is dispersing to view a fantasy of narrow streets strung with captivating souvenir shops and sophisticated restaurants. Morning darkness fades, slowly the clouds drift, revealing a pure, spotless blue sky. The town hall strikes 8 o’clock, shop shutters rattle as they raise, doors bursting open with a helping hand awaiting to welcome the customer with an embrace. A pungent smell of fish fills the air. A gust of wind full with repulsive odour lingers.
Sun-kissed light pours from the sky, the reflection upon the water blinding. Solitary streets are now animated. Harmony is no more but the day is still premature. Exhaust fumes float as workers withdraw from their homes and start up their engines. The traffic is solid throughout the town. People barge their way to local banks and supermarkets through overflowing pathways. Tourists disembark upon the harbour, beginning the long awaited holiday. An enchanted wonderland of fair attractions sit upon the end of the pier, slowly they complete their circuits.
Breakfast bars open in the car parks serving up crisp bacon sandwiches dripping with butter and blistering coffee. Along the harbour front, fishermen sit mending their nets as though they are knitting. People drift in and out of streets, some white, some red, some tanned; the sun’s violent rays causing skins pigment to discolour. Young and old take a morning stroll along a beach like stretch of empty space. The view is cleared, what you see sends shivers down your back, the sea’s elegance and harbour in almost complete perfection.
Slowly a frying fragrance finds it’s way up your nostrils. Yes, lunchtime rush, takeaway shops and restaurants are in full flow. The beach is filling; young children begin to play their electrifying games. Everywhere you roam there are fish and chips. Lightly battered fish, so crisp when you take a bite. Slowly the batter falls down your oesophagus leaving succulent flakes of cod warming your lips and tongue. Chips so soft, your first taste is sea salt and malt vinegar, secondly the slight grease tickling the back of your throat.
A taste of potato whirls as your teeth chew, and then all matter of food disappears from your mouth. Guilt in your mind about the fat content but the taste takes it away. Squawks are amongst the crowds as gulls swoop down for scraps. Gently relaxation occurs. Youngsters run with slight indigestion, the smouldering crisp sand making their young feet so sore. Afternoon falls. The beach is still packed with sunbathers and children. A drowsiness dawns. Some people sit upon the harbour wall watching waves ripple in.
Sticks of rock go crunch, candyfloss melts and fudge just makes you chew. A confectionary wonderland! Laughter is surrounding showing every sign of full enjoyment. Deeper into the town humanity is all common, drifting to and fro from high street designers to leather stenching shoe stores. Streets littered with cake wrappers from the bakery, sandwich boxes from the deli bar and general junk here and there. Coke cans crunch beneath your feet as you walk and a gorgeous perfume aroma wafts and asthmatics begin to choke. Calmness never seems to occur.
Moving back through the town and down to the harbour, the beach is slowly beginning to clear and the tide is creeping close. Bath taps drip as parents eagerly attempt to untangle their children’s sandy locks. Light is fading cautiously as evening draws in. Couples appear arm in arm. Shop shutters once again rattle as they close. Restaurants’ distinct smell is inviting. Open bars serve up crisps, nuts and cold beverages, alcoholic or not. Glasses chink as drunken chatter begins. In sight is a beautiful sunset, the red glow inspiring just like a painted picture but all fades when darkness gradually descends.
Soothing music from an unknown live band rings in your ears. Fishing boats begin to proceed out to sea. Hard workers wander down their local pulling out the pennies to achieve a taste of real ale. All that is recognisable in the darkness is faint outlines of people and places. Ping! Pier lights turn on in their own unique brilliance. Club beats compose vibrations throughout the floor. People dancing and laughing makes the world seem blissful. So many people are having a good time. Slowly the volume creeps louder almost making your ears burst.
Bang, tequila slammers hit the table hard, barely touch your lips but soon make you intoxicated. Jazz and liquor is no combination for anyone who is angelic and always seems to be composed. ‘Ring a ding ding’, bells sound. Last orders it’s time to go home. An emanation of alcohol is upon everyone. Silence in the end. As the lighthouse flickers like a candle the glimpse of a silent shadow tumbles to its death. Anyone still awake, outside can only smell sea-salt and waste grub. The harbour is never always in tranquillity.
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