Saturday, January 10, 2009
A yank back to Broadstairs, part 1
I was secretly longing to get back to the sea. I find myself drawn to the coast, and I need a connection with the ocean that pounds and tries to batter Albion into submission. I long to swim in the water or, if the weather turns inclement, to at least paddle my feet in the briny foam. For some reason I’m drawn to English seaside places, specifically Broadstairs, with its huddle of Victorian abodes clustered around the cliff top. I fondly imagine bewhiskered gents and corsetted ladies from a century ago, promenading along the front, taking in deep breaths, listening to brass bands in Cliffside Gardens, trying to escape the constraints and the conventions of their day, if only with an occasional burp or fart swallowed up in the sound of a brass cymbal or a crashing wave. I love the town’s rocky terrain, the tiny harbor, the gaudy seaside swag, its weather-beaten elegance and quiet claims to the past that always seem so warm and inviting, whatever the season.