We spent the last week in glorious North Devon, much of it on the beaches at Saunton Sands and Woolacombe. They are the most beautiful beaches – long, sandy, excellent facilities and for us, perfect waves. The beaches have also been packed. Even the locals were commenting on how busy Woolacombe was and so now it’s Friday, brace yourself good people for a little bit of a rant…on the subject of beach crime.
The beaches of North Devon had enough crime going on to make a whole tv series, probably voiced by Jamie Theakston. I think the weekly regulars would include:
We were victims of a vicious attack by the seagulls – foolishly we failed to zip up our cool bag and seeing as a seagull can spot an open bag from about 100 feet we lost our sandwiches. The seagulls were clearly partial to a bit of cheese and marmite on white – although I am sure that some will see this combination as a crime in itself. The gulls were happy to dive bomb anyone with chips – be aware people, be aware.
Now this is just an observation, but as far as I’m aware, Woolacombe beach is the best part of 3 miles long. Now I totally get the hideousness that is dragging a buggy, small children, picnic and a gazillion tonnes of ‘stuff’ onto the beach. We try and move along as far as the Cheetah Keeper will tolerate (poor balance, dodgy feet and sand aren’t a good combo) and we don’t have that much stuff – but please, just leave a little space before you set up your encampment. I have no desire to hear your domestic disagreements in every detail and if I do want to get to the sea (or the toilet, or the bin) I don’t want to have to tiptoe over your sandwiches. To quote the Sealion Keeper, “I don’t want to hear everyone else arguing on the beach Mummy” – the girl has a point.
Going to the beach seems to turn even the most functional of families (not that I’m classing us as that, but I’m sure there are some out there) into massive units of stress. Children whipped up by space, water, excitement and the wind exhibit behaviours that have parents wanting to bury their own heads in the sand to avoid. Parents in turn, often slightly frazzled already by being together as a family unit for longer periods than usual, turn into threatening beasts. I was led to question at times whether it was the adults or the children having the tantrums – and some of the threats were, erm, going to be impossible to deliver on – which then reminds me of my mother – “don’t threaten what you can’t carry through…”
This may actually be a crime for the fashion police but still, beach crime is beach crime and this one had me wincing rather quickly.
To make it very clear, I am no beach beauty, it takes a lot to get me in my swimmers if I’m not about to slide into a pool. For that reason and that reason alone, I have stripy legs where only limited amounts of flesh have seen daylight. Nevertheless, wearing your bra under your swimming costume is just wrong. It looks very strange. There are swimming costumes available with scaffolding should you have the requirement for it – as I do – but big white straps under a cossie… please, think before you do it. It was suggested to me as I turned grumpy old woman in the office on this subject that it may be for medical reasons, but as far as I’m aware, there are plenty of swimming costumes available for those who need them. If it was for medical reasons, I apologise. Honestly.
Another observation on the swimwear front (scuse the pun), if your boobs are bulging out of your cossie – or bikini, you need a bigger cup size. These are available in many shops – do consider them when buying your next one! As much as you may gain some additional attention from those on the beach that are interested in bulgy boobs, a nice smooth line is so much more classy – and talking as a girl with an H cup, I know it can be done.
And finally in my rant for the week, it has come to my attention that you can buy t-shirts or just pull on sleeves for your child that makes it look like their arms are completely tattooed and they’re wearing a ‘normal’ t-shirt over the top. Really, is it ‘cool’ for a 10 year old to have such an item of clothing – what part of you looked at it and when “oh yes darling, I’ll buy you that“? Tattoos are a personal choice for adults old enough to make that decision, they are not for 10 year olds.
Beach crime – let’s, erm, go all surfer cool and chill out a bit more – shades on, spread out a bit and be happy. Ideally in well fitting swimwear and shooting the bloody seagulls first.