After doing a bit more work on the site today, I decided I needed some fresh air to invigorate me and shake off this awful cold. I looked outside and it was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and not a cloud interrupted the view. Yes, this was a good day to be outside. After my dreaming of better places to live, I said Bournemouth to myself and headed for the car.
The journey was easy, flying down the empty M27 at close to 90mph I was making good time. And good time I need to make. Although this may have started out as being a fresh air trip, I soon started to think I could make the shops before 4pm and maybe pick up something new before religion interfered with my fix today with Sunday closing times. It was currently 3.10pm and I hit the IBM Triangle – the sharp right turn just after the M27 narrows to two lanes. The corner is named after the office that is nearby. They supplied my work with POS systems and have a sign on the side of the road. I love this corner for its audacity to be present at such a place on a motorway. You head downhill at 90mph, then the road climbs upwards and you can just make out a Slow sign in the far distance. You ignore it for now – thinking you have plenty of time – and keep the pedal down as far as it goes. As the car bottoms out and heads upwards you can feel your bum press into the seat and your stomach does silly things. It isn’t enough to distract you though, from the corner you can now see. A sharp right turn with trees on either side. Oh yeah, this is going to be good. Still going uphill, you take a cursory glance around you, just in case. Good, there’s nobody around, Lets have some fun you say to yourself. The corner approaches. You judge the radius. Assess the camber, but only for a moment. Feather the brake. Dip clutch and downshift to fourth. Correct the front and begin to turn in. Adjust steering. A little wobble. Cut across the other lane for better line. Check exit is clear from traffic. Nail throttle. Cruise out and onto the plain of the New Forest. Don’t forget to upshift to fifth and some point.
Then its ninety all the way to Ringwood. At this point I tend to slow a little as I need to concentrate more on the ever-increasing number of lanes. Before I know it, I’m parking up in the out-of-town car park (which is half as costly as the seafront car parks) and wandering the half-mile into the city.
I manage to catch the shops – Quiksilver, Fat Face, Animal, some other non-branded shop, and most importantly – Cafe Nero. With a coffee in one hand and my camera in the other, I head to the beach and the real reason I decided to come here on this fine winter evening.
I wandered east along the front, catching some good snaps of the pier and the sea. I was quite surprised at the busyness. It wasn’t cold, but it was far from warm. I thought most people would be at home tucking into a roast, rather than walking the promenade. But I managed to avoid most people, and thought that the west side of the pier would be even quieter. As I headed back, I noticed just how many people were sitting on the beach lost in their own thoughts. Just gazing into the water. I thought to myself that this is exactly why I love the sea so much. It kind of puts me in a trance. I could watch the waves break all day if I was forced to! Just to sit on the soft sand and think about my life, other peoples lives, this moment and moments to come – it kind of relaxes me. Reboots my system, so to speak.
Anyway, I walked down to the other side of the pier only to be confronted with more promenade-hoggers. It was busy! I walked pass a cafe/bar, and saw two couples sitting outside on the front. One couple had a rather extravagent-looking tea pot and were busy discussing some family issue. The other couple were younger and sipping bottles of Corona. They looked student age – no more that 21 – and spoke in Spanish. I didn’t make out what they were saying (as I speak almost no Spanish!), but it was definitely Spanish. I thought that maybe they had once dreamed of being in a foreign country and drinking beer whilst sitting on a seaside resort enjoying a beautiful sunset. I felt pleased with this thought. I felt like I wasn’t the only one. I felt proud of the couple. Although they were probably students enjoying some free-time.
The west-side was too busy, so I took some more photos and wandered back to the car. Before leaving the beach, I noticed some girls in the sea. The were still fully clothed, but were at least 20 metres out, bobbing up and down with the incoming tide. They seemed to be enjoying themselves, but it is beyond my understanding – it must have been freezing out there.
Was this the last Winter sunset Ill see this year? I don’t know, but it was certainly worth the time.
The journey home was not as exciting as the journey before. The road splits at IBM Triangle and the curve is less sharp when you are heading the other way. You hardly notice it in fact. As I drove, I could see the sky turn orange in my mirrors as the sun set beneath the horizon. Another day passed, another about to begin – just after I get some sleep that is.