I’m sitting on a bench which is on a strip of pavement that separates the land from the sea. I face the sea. There are people walking up and down the promenade, taking the air, enjoying the late Winter, early Spring sunshine. It is bright and clear. Dogs scurry from one piece of seaweed to another, their claws scrabbling and scratching the paving slabs as they pull their owners in a ziz-zag along the promenade. The seaweed, swept over the wall by the high tide, dries slowly. Twenty men, all dressed the same, briskly walk past. Black tracksuits with the name of their rugby club sewn on the tops, white trainers. Some wear hats, woolly or baseball type. They walk along with the bounce and enthusiasm of the fit and young, throwing a tennis ball around. A young girl dances to the sea wall, high kicks and spins, this way then that way, arms high then low, snapping her fingers as she swings her way along. She looks odd doing this, alone, here. Maybe she is just happy, she is not wearing headphones and I cannot hear any music. I see joggers approaching and wonder why I do not think they look odd when I think the dancer does. Then I see the man with the camera and long lens. He tracks the girl and is taking pictures of her as she dances. She is posing and dancing amongst the promenaders, a girl in a place doing something she would not usually do there. I like this feeling of being out of place, not quite belonging anywhere. A tall thin man wearing a trilby stops to look at the girl as she pirouettes across the paving slabs. Now the man and the girl look out of place and I hope the photographer got that picture. Two boys race past on BMX bikes. They stop abruptly and spin on front wheels in unison to face the opposite direction, race off and do it again, coming back at speed. I can hear the clack of skateboards on concrete as the boarders do the same trick over and over again. These are not the sort of boarders this resort needs at the moment.
The bench I am on has a plaque on it. The bench is dedicated to a couple who laughed, danced and fell in love here but are now long gone. This is the view from the bench. The people have all gone, were they ever here? We could sit here, take a moment and think of all the times we have laughed, danced and fell in love. Or, we could just pretend and make it up.