The Call of Seaton Beach

BY JAMIE FOSTER

A lot has happened in the last 24 hours. I have travelled a journey through a strange and magical land where animals share their silent beauty generously. I have cried inside with empathy for a lost self who has been reborn. I stomped my boots to the mellifluous toll of the church bells hoping to drum up business for the Lord. Beautiful rich strangers were summoned by my frustration and spent their smiles and their gold in Seaton.

Seaton started as a village in the first millennium and transmogrified when an overwhelming ambition for townhood took it over. Captain Warner howled and clicked his heels and the glorious sound could be heard as far away as Birmingham. The mackerel swept West to East across the mile long bay of Seaton beach. Delighted children skipped across the pebbles chasing in their wake. From the tall houses with their fringes reaching boldly to the sky, down past the steamy kitchen windows to the green valley below my feet skipped and clicked pulled along by the inquisitive nature of two hounds. I had spent a long week revelling moonstruck by the greenness of the valley and the snaking river. At night sticky shades clang to me from the shadows whispering of untold riches. More in sorrow than in anger I turned away from their embrace, determined as I was to walk my path courteously.

The call of the sea has gripped me all my life. Something from the deep sings to me gently requesting my company, in lightness or in dark. I peeled off my boots and woollen socks to bathe my aching joints in the salty cold and the relief was overwhelming. There is an emptiness to be found in the screech of the herring gulls that mock the landscape for its stasis. Where the coastline curls to kiss the river mouth kindred spirits allow their yacht masts to bend in the wind. To be perfectly honest is as fantastical as soaring loftily above the mast tips with only a kite and a string for company. Looking down on speedboats is the privilege of youth and experience. For me the real attraction lay deep within the chilly depths. The sun on my back has always been a luxury I have been grateful for in the most profound sense…..