West Wittering Beach

We’ve finally made it to the day the world has been waiting for. Yep, it’s my 54th birthday. Not only that, but it’s also the US election. I’ve been a very good boy it this year, so I’m hoping I get what I asked for.

It’s my dad’s birthday today too, although sadly he’s no longer here to celebrate it. This year has a particular resonance because he died aged 53, and it makes me realise just how young that is. So I just want to give a shout out to Robert (Bob) Frank Greenwood (1932-1985), whose name doesn’t appear anywhere on the internet. Well, it does now.

Birthdays and elections aside, there’s only really one milestone I’m concentrating on, and that’s Christmas with my (very small) family. Throughout this year, with all of its losses, that’s what’s kept me going. But this week England goes into a second lockdown that nobody believes will end by the promised four weeks. A lockdown that scientists and half the country think should have happened weeks ago, and the rest of the country thinks shouldn’t happen at all. I’m not going to get political, other than to make a general point, because I’m seeing and feeling something I’ve never felt before in my lifetime. When the overwhelming majority have completely lost faith in the leadership, particularly during a crisis, it’s a scary prospect. When you realise just how thin that line is between civilisation and going full-on Lord Of The Flies and running round in your underpants covered in blood, well…it’s actually rather unsettling. I’m sure my friends in America are feeling something similar.

None of which has anything to do with these photos of course, other than to point out that our little trip to the beach last week may be the last outing for a while. As we wandered along the coast, I couldn’t help but think of that pivotal beach scene from John Wyndham’s 1951 post-apocalyptic classic, Day Of The Triffids. Josella and Bill stare out to sea, contemplating the future for what’s left of society:

‘Don’t you still feel sometimes that if you were to close your eyes for a bit you might open them again to find it all as it was, Bill? – I do.’

‘Not often now,’ I told her. ‘But I’ve had to see so much more of it than you have. All the same, sometimes…’

‘Do you think we really are finished with, Bill?’

‘I think,’ I amplified, ‘only think, mind you, that we have a narrow chance – so narrow that it is going to take a long long time to get back. If it weren’t for the triffids, I’d say there was a very good chance indeed – though still taking a longish time. But the triffids are a real factor. They are something that no rising civilization has had to fight before. Are they going to take the world off us, or are we going to be able to stop them?

‘The real problem is to find some simple way of dealing with them. We aren’t so badly off – we can hold them away. But our grandchildren – what are they going to do about them? Are they going to have to spend all their lives in human reservations only kept free of triffids by unending toil?’

All photos West Wittering Beach / Fujifilm X100F

West Wittering Beach

West Wittering Beach

West Wittering Beach

West Wittering Beach

West Wittering Beach

West Wittering Beach

West Wittering Beach

West Wittering Beach

West Wittering Beach

West Wittering Beach

West Wittering Beach

11 comments on “West Wittering Beach

  1. Happy Birthday! Our election has been very stressful, but it has given us something to think about other than the virus. It has also allowed us to focus our attention on replacing the current president as a way of trying to fix the situation. Of course, if he’s voted out, the triffids won’t magically disappear. But the prospect of competent leadership inspires hope!

  2. Excellent article, Gerald. I do hope that your ‘good behaviour’ is rewarded with the birthday present for which you’ve been wishing. As it happens, I’ve been wishing for the same thing – even though my birthday isn’t yet, for a short while. 😉

    The excruciating chaos of the past few years has worn very thin, indeed. It would be nice if we could get back to SOME kind of normality. We’ll see.

  3. Happy birthday, and I hope that you can get out somewhere for a celebration before too long.
    The second photo is my favourite of the bunch. I like the light line in the grass as an abstract reflection of the beautiful clouds. And, of course, all the photos of dogs are winners. 🙂

  4. Looks as though your present has arrived, Gerald! 👍 Having said that, the incumbent looks certain to make an attempt to cause difficulties. 😟

  5. “Ultimately it’s got nothing do with left or right politics. This is a victory for decency.”

    That’s a concise and very apposite summary, Gerald. 👍

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