Friday, August 18, 2006

Portsmouth Memories


This wonderful picture (even if I do say so myself!) shows the Spinnaker Tower and entrance to Portsmouth Harbour. Its a view that is normally impossible as it was taken from inside HM Naval Base during the International Festival of the Sea in July 2005. This view epitomises what I miss about Portsmouth and being by the sea. Its the fact that any view of the coast, whether it be a sandy beach or a bustling port as here, has an inherent beauty all of its own. There is always something new to see by the coast. The sea itself is a constantly changing force of nature - sometimes like when this picture was taken it can look calm and inviting, other days it is ferocious and challenging.

Simple words though really cannot sum up what it means to be living by the sea. Whenever somebody asks me about it, I can't really put into words what it means. There is something engimatic and inherently wonderful about having grown up by the coast. After all, we had a beach at hand all summer, just a few minutes walk from home. I shudder at the thought of dipping my toe in the same water now when I see the amount of pollution! One of the best things though was in winter, when the seafront would be deserted (the tourists having escaped inland) and the waves would come crashing onto the beach or across the fortifications of Old Portsmouth. The awesome power of the sea can never be underestimated and at its most violent, it is most engaging.

Ah, I can almost taste the salty sea air now...

5 comments:

jamie said...

you can taste the salty... what???

Mark said...

The 'sea air' Jamie! Sea has a very salty taste to it and often you can smell that in the air as well. I was try to evoke a smell of being by the sea as well as the more obvious visual reality.

Derek said...

I miss the sea a great deal, as I had a relatively happy childhood growing up on the Norfolk coast in a holiday resort...even though the Great Yarmouth area isn't the most salubrious of locations!! Still, every time I go home to visit mum and dad, I get huge feelings of happiness when spotting the sea and wandering around my old haunts. Funnily enough, my postive feelings to the area seems stronger in colder months of the year, when the tourists have gone, the air is cool and drizzly, the waves are crashing against the breakwaters, and the sky is slate grey. Yes, you certainly can taste the salt in the air. Still, summer by the coast has some great things to offer, such as bright big skies, noisey seagulls, Duncan Norvel in summer season on the pier, ancient Pac-Man machines in the arcades, and those tacky gift shops selling rock and imported crap!...Wonderful, eh? :)

Carla said...

Mark, you write these lyrical sentences that you send floating off into the blogosphere like great, delicate soap bubbles...and Jamie comes along and pops them! This is a pattern with you two, isn't it?

Mark said...

LOL... Jamie certainly has a way with words!

I've often said that Milton Keynes would be perfect it it were by the sea. As it is, I couldn't be further from the sea if I tried! However, I am going back to Pompey for a few days soon, yay :-)