Monday, 4 May 2015

The pebbly beach fraud

As a small child, my favourite outing was to the beach. I lived in south Devon, which was full of beaches - indeed this delightful, undeveloped little beach was within walking distance of our house:

But, more often than not, we would get in a car or two (if there were visitors or family friends) and visit one of the main beaches within a few miles radius; and all-too-often that beach was the dreaded Babbacombe, which had pebbles not sand.

This seemed to me a terrible waste of time. A pebbly beach was a fake beach, so far as I was concerned.

If you are going to bother to get in the car and go to a beach, why not go to a real beach, with real sand?

Especially one with fine white sand, like Dawlish:

Dawlish was the ideal - but a bit far for everyday usage - however, nearby Teignmouth (pronounced Tinmuth) was a good compromise, with its coarse, reddish sand:

But Babbacombe was a miserable place - the warmer the day, the more miserable it was.

Memories of sitting on uncomfortable pebbles, the agonies of walking barefoot on roasting-hot pebbles, avoiding the inevitably-present lumps of crude oil and dog's muck hidden among the pebbles...

Trying to bathe when the beach shelved too steeply and there was a scary undertow; and worst of all - no sandcastles, no water channel construction, no burying yourself or your sister or father...

Babbacombe pebbly beach - for a young kid, it was worse than no beach at all: