Having been filled with an overwhelming desire for some time to play music on the beach and to watch people with sand between their toes move their hands in a rhythmic fashion I was not surprised to remember that I had been invited by the ever gorgeous S the previous week to do just that. How fortuitous. Also, not withstanding the fact that I have been listening to a talking book of 'Pride and Prejudice' all week on the way to work and find that it is somewhat affecting my parlance and everyday dealing with the world.
Hark me, and apologies not withstanding at my arrogant display of what some would consider an unusual task, but I’ve played music of the beach, in the sunshine, in the rain, for quite some considerable time, but to have my concentration interrupted by a Red Devil display team flying towards the beach, really low, really loud, puffing billows of red, white and blue smoke out into a fan, was, take it from me, somewhat of an unusual experience. My first thought was “the sound system isn’t loud enough” then “where’s my beer?”. No, I’m joking of course. It was “ooohmygawd! What dafuckwassthat??”.
Or, in English; I went down Margate to play some tunes on the beach.
S***dance Sound System, for it was they, had such a exquisite set up. Palm Bay curves in such a pleasing line to the eye that upon visitation of my attention I immediately busrt into tears of joy at the overwhelming power of nature to create such a vista. Nestled at the apex of the curve was an aluminium structure housing the wheels of steel and the givers of aural pleasure. Flanked by four palm trees and a deck chair I burst out with laughter at the playful ironic juxtaposition of sand, sea, sky, palm trees, deck chair and a fuck off massive sound system. Things just seemed soo right. So precise. Oh, and to be greeted like a long lost brother by the beautiful subs people, and to receive so much warmth and love and smiles I cried again on top the crying and ironic laughter I done did earlier. I did feel an overwhelming surge of loss as I realised how much I loved them and had missed their energy. To tap into this seam again was all I had ever wanted from the day. To feel is all I ever need. “Hello”, I said, hugging DP, J &S, G &MJ. I am after all, English, and still in the world of Pride and Prejudice (unabridged), and an Englishmen would never display feelings openly. People might think you are human. It’s the internal world that never leaks except through the eyebrows.
So, the lovely Clare and I drove down, Dopey Jake on the car stereo. The sunshine blazed and we gazed in each others eyes and oh how we laughed; the carefree laugh of lovers everywhere who are driving towards the beach; towards the sea. Towards the deep, blue sea.
Man, Margate was on total shutdown; jams from 5 miles out. The place crawling with orange hi-viz jackets, clipboards, barriers and traffic cones. Pavements thronged with people all heading one way. Clare goes; “Let’s ask that man in the orange hi-viz?” So began, ‘the blag’ to get the car down to the sea front and after much talking, driving, cajoling and of course blatant lying we finally got let through a barrier and parked up right next to the beach. A perfect example of what we call ‘TV parking’. The Gods of the blag shined brightly down on us and all them years of talking our way into clubs through intransigent door supervisors (don’t cha just love ‘em?) finally paid off in spades.
A Lancaster Bomber flanked by 2 Spitfires flew overhead. “Ah”, says Simon as he puts a champagne flute of sparkling wine into my hand. “Stirs the soul a sight like that. I always loved the Battle of Britain. Them Airfix models when we were kids? Loved ‘em”. So we did. So we did. We both nod as the roar of the planes drowns out our voices.
Those were the days. Jumpers for goalposts.