Saturday, 13 July 2013

The Great British Summer

The British Summer continues this weekend, and Negau will be posting blogs from Brighton Beach!

SPF 30 sun screen might be an overreaction to the mild British sun, but looking at the multitude of pallid torsos and sunburnt necks surrounding us we thought it would be best to play it safe. 

Each year, as the sun emerges from behind a screen of clouds floating above Britain, thousands of people pack themselves into trains heading for the nearest stretch of coastline. This mass-exodus, similar in execution to the WWII evacuations, is preceded by a desperate search for beach worthy clothing. Bikinis and swimming trunks are pulled out from the hidden depths of cupboards, sun screen hastily purchased and sunglasses retrieved from the car glove-box after a frantic search. 

A steady stream of people in their thousands then pours into major coastal towns like Brighton, overwhelming ticket offices and filling entire trains. Tickets therefore become obsolete, as new ones cannot be dispensed and ticket inspectors are barely able to force their way through a single carriage of sun seekers. 

The transport staff at the other end have no more luck in controlling the mass migration of Britons. Stepping out of the train station at their coastal paradise of choice, they begin to gradually remove items of clothing before reaching the beach itself. 

The end result of this panicked, traumatic process? I'm experiencing it right now. Thousands of people surround me on a stretch of pebbled beach on the Brighton shore. Backs, legs, arms and any other area deemed to be requiring a tan are all bared before my eyes. Caught between a dazzlingly bright sun and the even brighter orange beach towel on which I sit I have no choice but to let my eyes wander from one person to the next. This is not, however, a sustainable activity and eventually a choice has to be made. The choice is simple but the decision can be influenced by any number of factors... Do I swim?

Do I swim? An exhilarating plunge into the clear blue water, following by relaxing in the soothingly cool sea, it sounds ideal. But I am one of the many Britons who didn't find their swimming trunks this year. I am one of those people who dislike salt water. And I am a person who lets things like this influence my decisions. In hindsight, yes I will most likely wish I had plunged in shorts, shirt and all. But right now I want to be dry, warm and clean, firmly settled on my beach towel with one of those ice, sugar and food colouring filled drinks that I wouldn't touch at any other time of the year.

Good luck with the tans!

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