Blimey… even Charles Dickens couldn’t have picture a scene like this!!!! 🙂 … He was more the master of depicting the dark and the dismal of 19th Century Victorian London… whereas this… well this was the light and the vibrancy of a beach in 21st Century Cornwall!!! :-)……. and we weren’t going to let Fagin gate crash the party!!! 🙂
We continued racing along the little paths, leading down the side of the cliff face, and through the bracken and the heather and the long grass, at a quick trot, while pretending the stones along the path weren’t hurting our bare feet as we stomped on them during the descent!!! 🙂 To be fair, with the anticipation of the surf awaiting us it wasn’t that difficult, and even when the path petered out into nothingness we just climbed down the last bit over the rocks!
Claire had decided she wasn’t going in so we left her in the shelter of the cliffs, to sun herself in the wonderful and golden Cornish spring sunshine… and me and Mat… well we made a beeline for the breakers that were still calling out to us to come and have a go!!! 🙂
We raced down the little paths, leading down the side of the “cliff” face, through the braken and the heather, at a quick trot while pretending that the random stones along the track weren’t hurting our plates of meat as we stomped upon them!!! 🙂 To be fair, with the anticipation of the surf… it wasn’t difficult!… and even when the path descended into a nothingness we just clambered down the last bit of “cliff” face and over the last remaining rocks to land… plates first! J … on the tidal golden sands!!! 🙂
Claire had kept pace but had already decided that she wasn’t going in and so we left her to sun herself in… err… the sun!!!… and by the shelter of the cliffs, while me and Mat made a beeline for the sea while being bathed in the suns beautiful rays!!! It was so warm in the sunshine, but the sea had another story to tell…. and it didn’t give a fuck about being warm… it had told that story long enough over the summer… and quite frankly it was as bored as fuck of the “once upon a jolly-bollocks version”…. No, it had its seasonally new rendition to deliver to us…. and this one was called “It’s freeze your bollocks-off time!!!!” 🙂 And not even Jackanory ever had the bollocks to tell that version!!! 🙂
…. and you know what…. while we’re on the subject…. you fucking “continental” types…. you bowl about your Mediterranean beaches…. giving it the large and sunning yourself wearing nothing but your hamster pouches while posing in your Sunkist and ever so well tanned “brown-suit- skin” …. to all the birds who you think want to have a butchers hook at yer… while hoping they may wish to do something else to yer a bit later!!! 🙂 …. as you daintily saunter down, over goldenly soft sand, to the sea shore…. then casually enter the sea to… (and even more casually!!!)… elegantly wade in to waist level… (and without ever needing to contemplate the remote possibility of, perhaps, letting out an uncontrollable little squeak as the seas cold hand reaches up and takes the liberty of “feeling” the intimate and ever so warm reaches of your upper inner thigh and threaten the very existence of your bollock-sack!!!)…. to then wade, ever deeper, and ever more unthreatened, to the far reaches of a depth concurrent and equal to your belly-button…. continuing to then, covertly and discreetly, take a jimmy riddle, using no hands and simply through the material of your hamster pouch….. (so making the sea around you even more seasonally warm for the time of year!!!)….. as you employ your hands to cooly take off your sunglasses, while pretending to look into the distance, and then turn to view your relieved expression in the reflective mirror of your sunglass lense!!!! 🙂
Now…. you try and do all that on a fucking British beach!!!! 🙂 …. when there are gusts of wind that can blow your head off…. upon sands that are filled with shards of shingle, slippery stones and sharp as fuck rocks!!!…. into water that is not only of a temperature just above freezing, but with waves that roll towards you at a level that is above the height of your head…. that the wind just blew off!!! J…. Now, you come and do that in Blighty mate… and we’ll see how big your bollocks are in your hamster pouch!!!! J I’m telling you…. at times like that you don’t piss in the sea to relieve yourself…. you piss in your wetsuit to simply stay alive!!!! 🙂 …..
We smashed into the sea, with the waves smashing into our chests, as we attempted to smash past the breakers to engage with the rollers!!! No fucking about, straight in… bish, bash, bosh…. no prisoners taken!!!! 🙂 As soon as we got passed the surf infantry, we engaged with the rolling cavalry and Mat was off like a rocket and doing all his pretty boy manoeuvres!!! He had all the best equipment…. and no that’s not a euphemism!!!…. he had a wetsuit hat and socks, finns and even “go-faster” gloves!!!…. he looked like he was Johnny English on a secret mission!!!!…. whereas me…. I just had my shortie….. and no, thats not a euphemism either!!! Sort yourself out!!!! 🙂 …. but counted myself lucky that at least it had been a couple of weeks since i’d last cut my toe-nails!!!! J It was bloody freezing me old china plate!!!…. so cold in fact that, forget about my feet…. I couldn’t even feel my elbows!!!! But the sea was in an awesome mood so it didn’t even matter! The waves were crashing in at such a speed and the roar they made was deafening, it felt amazing catching the crest of one and riding it to its completion! 🙂
After that it was back to begin the “smashie and nicey” routine all over again… so I grabbed my shield….. I mean bodyboard!!! 🙂 …. and faced the waves of invading “serfs” 😉 approaching me…. it really did have the feel of battle about it!!! But was the battle Badon or Brunanburh!!! 🙂 …. And was I Arthur or Athelstan?…. better settle for Alfred at Edington and say no more about it!!!! 🙂 If only kids these days would emulate those A-Star Kings of renown instead of impersonating the X-Men!!!! I know what heroes I’d rather be and it aint the ones drawn by Marvel and waiting in a green room for a stage performance!!!! 🙂
It was wonderful spending time with Mat that morning. I really felt like I was experiencing an element of my childhood again and there was a moment we shared that epitomised the last line written by the writer in the film “Stand By Me”:
“I’ve never had friends like the ones I had when I was 12… Jesus… does anyone?”
I know that line relates to a lot of peoples life experience, and it did to me too, but not at the age of 12 because, by that time, I didn’t have any friends!!!! 🙂 No, for me that line related more to when I was 7 and really experiencing the world with my bestest mates in all of the world and all of its history!!!! 🙂 ….. you can tell I’m already feeling 7 again already hey!!! 🙂 …. because by 12 I just didn’t fit in with people and really didn’t want to be doing some of the things other kids on the manor were doing at that time, and at that age, you cant really pick and choose the “street” activities to join in with… you’re either completely “in” or you’re “out”!!! It was clear that I was out and so I just found myself spending more and more time on my own either cycling, listening to my records or playing with my Scalextric…. what?…. how can that possibly be a euphemism?!!!! 🙂 …. you’ve really got to sort yourself out because it’s clear you’ve got a dirty mind!!! 🙂 ….. I did play football at weekends, but outside of school – and outside of school sports – training on a Friday night and playing on a Sunday were my only “social” interactions with kids my own age. It’s strange because although I didn’t really fit in… it never seemed to be held against me and I was almost always chosen as the Captain for any sports team I ever played for. I seemed to command some kind of respect from my peers… they just didn’t want to be seen walking down the street with me!!! :-)…. and I wasn’t cool enough to have a girlfriend!!! 😦 …. 🙂
But around 7 was when I experienced that kind of adventurous innocence with bestest friends and at the turn of the millennium I happened to write a poem about it and I think I’m going to write it for you here! I’ve never had a title for it before, so I’m going to call it….
“Stand By Me” by Lee D. Miller 🙂
Do you remember the time when you was just a little kiddie?
And you waited for a bell to ring so you could get home for Tom and Jerry!!!
You bundle through the classroom door
Stampede along the corridor
Your jackets on the cloakroom floor
Some bastards treading on it!!!
Outside your Mum has got your sweets
It’s time for all those penny treats!
Look for someone to give beats
Too late! He’s done you first!!!
Sing songs for fun and songs for war
Arms over shoulders in lines of four!
Short verse, repeat, as if by law
And then it’s time for jumping!!!
Look out for all those stupid flids!
Stick fingers up at saucepan lids!
I wish today I was a kid!!!
My time has been and gone!
Get back home and my bros asleep
Shove down me dinner in time to meet
The kids from up and down my street
We know that there’s adventure!!!
Leave my house at just gone four
Forget to shut the bloody door!
I heard my Mum, I know she swore!!!
Now I’m pounding on the pavement!
Chris and Dave are my best mates
We ride our bikes without their brakes!
Then smash into a mans estate!!!
No time to cry, just scarper!!!
Chris and Dave, they wear a Parker
One is blue but one is darker
Me, I am the one that’s smarter
I’ve got a Bomber Jacket!!!
Running-out on the building site
Kids run-out throughout the night
Some prick has brought his brand new kite
Throw stones and it gets hammered!!!
Over the park, not far away
It’s Calamity Jane not Dorris Day!!!
It’s getting dark, the skies gone grey
Your Dad is coming for ya!!!
You say goodbye to all your mates
It’s just gone eight, but it’s not late!
The lights are on and life is great!!!
Cant wait until tomorra!!!
You’re up at dawn and watching telly
Strange rumblings from behind your belly
Your pants are brown and really smelly!!!
Get changed and go to school!!!
Leave your house and leave your road
Then meet your mates and talk in code
You’re laughing at the jokes they told
Then it’s time to get in line
The line leads in and through the door
You turn to see your Mum once more
Then wonder what on Earths in store
And then you’re in assembly!!!
Sing songs and hymns without a care
I’ve almost learnt the whole Lord’s Prayer!
Then teacher gives an awful stare
As someone stinks the hall out!!!
Back in class we learn and play
She’s Calamity Jane not Dorris Day!!!
I know sometimes I lost my way!
But it didn’t happen often
The bell rings loud and it’s play time
We kick a ball and then some swine!
We kiss and chase, commit no crime!!!
But still we hear the whistle!
Back inside we do art work
Get splashed with paint, by some jerk
Miss looks at me like I’m the berk!
Because I didn’t wear an apron!!!
You finish school and your Mum’s livid!
You try and blame the other kid!!!
It makes no difference cos you’re the flid
Because you didn’t wear an apron!!!
It’s off and home, it’s eighty-two
The Mary Rose, and Falkland’s too
Are spoke about, along with you
Because you didn’t wear an apron!!!
Stone fighting with the older kids
Who can do the longest skid?
Shit scared of plants like big triffids
Oh no… who smashed the window?!!!
The witches house is so called
Its roofs its hat and in we crawled
We found a wall on which we scrawled
The names of one and other
We hear some screams and shouts and sound
The bloke who owns the house has found
Us hiding as we hit the ground!
And now it’s time to scarper!!!
We go to play in the Stone Way
I tell the lads I fancy Faye
Dave laughs and is about to say…
Then Chris tells me that he’s kissed her!!!
More fights and add and add the ball
Sometimes we try to play football!!!
Crowds gather cos the bus is full!
Old people loved to watch us!!!
But that was then and this is now
I reminisce and raise my brow
I wonder what and where and how
All the bloody time went!
Christopher and David left Barking for the leafier suburbs of Metropolitan Essex in 1983 and I don’t think I ever got over the loss of their friendship. I’ve certainly never been able to sustain a long term friendship since that time and have just found it easier to be on my own. But that moment with Mat, exchanging a glance, for only the briefest of seconds, while standing just a few yards apart in the breakers of Whitsand Bay, brought back the sensation of all those feelings that my Poem and Stand By Me evoked. I have no idea what Mat was thinking in that moment, because we never spoke about it or ever referred to it. It just felt to me like the beautiful acknowledgement of sharing such an innocent experience… together with a beloved friend… and in moments like that words are never needed… it’s just a blessing to have felt and lived them.
I certainly felt like that moment was a blessing, but for all I know Mat could have been thinking “Miller… you look such a twat!!!” as he stood there in his wetsuit “hoody”…. the fucking twat!!!! 🙂
After our “gay” moment had passed, we continued smashing into and being smashed by the Wonderous Waves of Whitsand…. a pass time that comes highly recommended! 🙂 …. until we both knew that the waves had had enough and it was time to stop picking on them!!! J We wandered up the beach to find Claire and then sat with her for a while as we soaked up the warm rays of sunshine after the cold salt of the sea. Gor blimey… it’s at moment like that when you wonder if you’re ever going to go anywhere else ever again such is the feeling of warmth and contentment…. you simply feel like you don’t ever want to leave that spot! But then the sun goes in and you suddenly realise it’s definitely time to fuck off!!!! 🙂
And thus, and so, we began to fuck off, back up over the rocks and up the path to the road at the top of the cliff whence we once again changed behind the doors of my jam jar! The only difference between the journey coming up (other than the direction!) to the one going down was the fact that there was no need to pretend that I couldn’t feel the sharp stones piecing my feet this time…. because I couldn’t even feel them!!!…. It felt like I was walking on a couple of stumps!!!…. And they were so numb I literally had to keep looking down to see if they were still there!!! Blimey… they say that the wheel is greatest human invention ever, but I tell you what, after mornings like that….. it’s the car heater!!!!! 🙂
We headed back to the Torpoint Ferry, ever so contented and quietly enjoying the scenery whizzing by at 30-40 mph, then we boarded and set sail…. by the use of a chain pulley system… for the shores of a land beginning with Eng! I really enjoy the journey on the Torpoint Ferry and on this occasion, as I looked back to Kernow, I had a feeling it would be a while before I saw her again. Twenty minutes later we landed on Saxon Land and continued on to find our way along the tracks and the trails to arrive back at Mat and Claires place, sitting outside to enjoy the beautiful Spring sunshine once again. Mat offered me a bottle of beer, and I stupidly accepted, because after one… you always want two… and then two’s never enough… but thankfully I stayed off that scenario and managed to force myself to only have a couple of cups of rosey for the rest of the afternoon before I had to mount my steed and head off in a direction opposite to that of the setting sun!
The time had come, my bags were packed and my boot was filled…. and Me, Mat and Claire said our farewells, hugged and kissed…. on the cheeks…. the face cheeks!!! 🙂 … and then I got in my Maestro! “Stonehenge now mate.” I said to myself and to my Maestro, as I put the key into the ignition and my Maestro roared into life. Then I waved at Mat and Claire as I pulled away and disappeared into the distance…. to the beginning of the beginning…. and to a ring of stones that are called…. Stonehenge.
Lots of Love,