It would have been every kid’s dream. To live in one of the most famous seaside towns in Britain. Well, in those days it might have been every kid’s dream, though now, it has changed so much that it is almost unrecognisable. I was lucky enough to live there for a while.
Every Sunday we would go to the sea front and take a walk, though often it would involve jumping over the waves that hurtled and crashed onto the promenade. Of course, it was great fun, and we were not aware of danger. The wind would be biting our faces, and our hair would be blowing in our eyes. And that was all part of the fun of it. We never wore hats!
By “us” I mean me and my Mum and Dad. Mum always loved to eat shrimps and prawns in little white dishes purchased from little stalls on the promenade. With lots of vinegar, of course. We would walk the whole length of the promenade, then make our way to the Pleasure Beach, and eat a WAFFLE complete with mounds of jam and cream. I have never, ever, since that time tasted waffles so good.
I suppose you could say they were good days. Dad used to go and wait at the stage door of the theatres, and collect autographs for me. Not that I understood it really. I never ever saw or watched the people he got the autographs from, and I never knew who they were. He would come home excitedly, bearing the autograph book complete with various names, announcing his success. I guess his excitement made me a bit excited too – ot it was meant to! If I am honest, it really left me a bit bewildered. Who were these people? And why were they so important?
Often, there were huge thunder and lightning storms. Storms like I had never seen before coming in off the Atlantic. And I was scared like I had never been scared before.
It all sounds great. But there was one drawback. We lived in houses where there was a woman in bed who was an invalid, and usually dying. Mum’s job was to look after her while Dad went out to work. So, I could never play, or make any noise whatsoever. In fact, even talking was forbidden, for the most part. We would have a room in the house, and a bedroom. Eventually the woman would die, and I would come home from school to find sombre faces and undertakers and various people in the house, all dressed in black. Mum would have a very serious face, and I would be told,
“Don’t go in there.”
It was all pretty horrible. And then I would be told we were moving again – to another house where a woman was in bed, dying.
So when I think of waffles, I have mixed emotions. Kind of bittersweet.
I have to say though, that I do still love to eat waffles – with jam and cream, of course.