Just been spending a weekend with the parents in Brighton, ten minutes walk from the beach. The second-best thing about this is the chance for a good swim in the sea. And the weekend has seen some great weather for it, too.
Saturday was slightly rough, with breakers sufficient to pummel me a bit. But past the breakers it’s beautiful: compared to our local rivers, the warmer water and extra buoyancy make for a lovely spot of luxury! I much enjoyed bobbing about on the waves for a first swim.
Coming out, I went to sit on the beach, whereupon two small girls came and asked what the water was like. I told them it was lovely, and eventually they believed me. They then disappeared up the beach, and reappeared dressed for a dip. That left me really wondering whether I should encourage them in or the opposite: unless they have the technique to ride the waves, those breakers would surely have them down and possibly in distress – and I don’t even know if they can swim!
Eventually an adult appears: the mother of one of them is happy for them to go as far as they want. But she gets called back to the urgent needs of a younger child, leaving me with the two girls on the waters edge. They only go half-in, and one of them does get knocked down by a wave. She’s not bothered by it, confirming mum’s view that they can cope. And we all have fun.
In a country where the meeja and government run a witch-hunt against adults having contact with children, I find this kind of healthy encounter as refreshing as a really good swim. And I expect these girls, not surrounded by paranoia, will grow into healthy, well-adjusted teenagers and later adults, unlike some of those contemporaries who are denied any kind of spontaneous human contact.
Sunday and Monday (yep – long weekend) I went back again for a swim. The water was by now much calmer (kite-surfers were gone, canoeists were out instead), and I had no more human encounters.
 I have to say second-best, as they sometimes read the blog 🙂