No armchair for God today. Not even a paltry cushion.
No, I’m not having visions, I’m singing – in my head.
It’s an old song by the French singer, Charles Trenet, in which this line appears:
‘Et le bon Dieu dit boum, Dans son fauteuil de nuages’
a lovely image, don’t you think? God sitting in his armchair made of clouds singing Boum! with Charles Trenet.
This jolly live recording is from 1938 (yes, long before my time) if you fancy a listen.
My mum would sing along to Boum!, becoming quiet and dewy-eyed as La Mer followed.
It’s a song with as many versions as there are raisins in a fruit cake. But the only acceptable versions are – I’m sorry, I’m firm on this – sung in French.
Anyway. That was my very long-winded way of saying – what a gorgeous, fabulous utterly marvellous day it is today.
Because the weather’s a fickle friend – today it loves me – but will it still love me tomorrow?
It takes me 15 minutes to reach the beach, belting along with chirpy Boum! on a loop in my head.
But as I tether up the purple bike and stroll down onto the beach, it’s replaced by La Mer.
I’m mesmerised by the lapping of the sea.
Sedate seabirds, like hundreds and thousands, spatter the shore.
Horses walk down, deceptively placid, on their way to a sweat-breaking canter.
The beach barriers are closed today – there’s no parking on the beach, it’s the end of the season.
And it’s quiet – so, so quiet.
A few dog walkers.
A man with big binoculars on the steps of the empty lifeguard station.
My mental batteries are soon topped up by sun, sea, sand and general gorgeousness.
Time to ride up to the bike café for a cup of liquorice tea.
And on – to the cemetery.
I love cemeteries. Some people can’t even bear to look at them – which makes me wonder if it’s a bit on the weird side. But I’m fascinated by monuments to the non-celebrated dead.
This one contains Commonwealth War Graves Commission graves – stray foreigners, doomed to find a field of England forever their home.
To wash the sheets.
To hang them out – it might be the last good drying day of the year.
And eventually, to work.
Well, no, to be honest, not to work. To write this blog post.
Do I feel guilty?
Is it a wonderful day?
Every now and again I won’t say I deserve, but I relish a Boum! kind of day.
And, being lucky enough to live within 15 minutes cycle ride of it, I’m able to go and refresh my jaded spirits with – yes – La Mer.