The Colours of… the seaside

Among my fondest memories of childhood are those summer days spent in Margate on the Kent coast. The seaside was a magical place, especially when the sun shone brightly – hot sand between your toes, bright, whitewashed buildings, getting soaked on the water rides. Ice cream, candy floss and sticks of rock. And over it all, the raucous din of the fun fair: the rumble of the roller coaster puctuated by delighted screams as it began its vertiginous descent, the clangs and whistles of various rides, all overlaid on the background chatter of thousands of happy people.
And then you grow up and you start seeing the peeling paint, the tattiness of the souvenirs, the world-weary cynicism of the owners of the rides. And yet… so what? Isn’t that the glory of the seaside, that it can be a bit tacky and yet be a source of fun and a good day out? The next time the sun shines, get down to the seaside – forget the grown-up ennui and buy an ice cream, kick your shoes off and paddle in the sea. Wear a ‘kiss me quick’ hat and go for a ride on the ghost train. Remember, for a while, the simple of joys of being a child…