Drink In Hand & Ass On Sand

Beach Fire

Doing small things every day will, over time, amount to sizeable achievements. Glasses of wine, cigarettes, lines of cocaine… these are all relatively small things. Oliver White

It’s been a long time since I quoted myself. In fact, the previous vomitation of vestige was back in March 2020 just as the lockdowns started and the world toppled over its own little event horizon.

That isn’t a word, by the way, nor a phrase. In fact, it makes very little sense, although quite a nice title***. But Shakespeare proved that language evolves. And he was a chap who was usually right when it came to all things linguistic. Certainly over time, he has proved to be.

While we are on the subject of language: an event horizon*, is it actually a line in the sand? I would presume it is more like a gradual process as gravity becomes stronger and stronger. Surely more analogue than digital. There will be a line, no doubt and by definition, it is the point of no return. But I see it as a process, a journey. Alas, one of those things that we will never actually know because, and again by definition, we cannot actually know.

Why am I drivelling on again? It’s a good question. To be honest, I’m not sure yet, but let’s see where this goes. I haven’t written in a while, and as awkward as it is on an iPad, I’ll give it a go.

It is New Years Eve, just gone 9pm. Fireworks are already whizzing, popping and banging somewhere behind me. Someone’s got a connection on their tablet but there’s fuck all on the TV apps and it is only good for background music. My posts are all scheduled and my phone is in ‘fuck off’ mode**. I know it’s a nineties thing, but do we still get to use the ‘everybody must’ve texted at the same time, networks couldn’t cope’ excuse? Gah, I didn’t think so. Oh well, I’ll deal with it tomorrow.

So I’m sitting here on a beach, which incidentally makes the whole typing on an iPad that much harder. It is chilly, but certainly not as chilly as it has been in previous years. In fact, it is this very thought that started my mind whirring. Many years ago, in a land far, far away, I took a girl to the beach on New Year’s Eve. I thought it would be different. It was not a date per se, but we could say it was the beginnings of the waltz. Anyway, it was fucking freezing. We spent about an hour walking the sand in darkness before hypothermia became a possible thing and headed for home.

Despite this experience though, I do recommend a beach at night. There is something even more magical than hearing and seeing the waves crash than not actually being able to see them. One evening at Bude, I wandered out onto the sand in the darkness, and realising I probably wouldn’t be able to initially tell when I was stepping into the water, I took my shoes and socks off. I walked – in complete darkness – until I felt the cold chill on my soles. It was, in my own little world, a special moment.

So anyway, I’m on this beach. The fire is gently crackling and there is a murmur of conversation. Nothing bawdy, certainly not loud or raucous. For sure the occasional cackle, but it only spreads joy when you realise it is a cackle of laughter. Smiles are being shared this evening, along with warmth, friendship and love.

We were sharing stories of our first ventures out into the water with a surfboard held in front of us. For two of my companions, that moment is something I am proud to say I was a part of. And for myself? Well, I think I am getting too old to remember. Maybe a story for another time.

Wine is in liberal flow, and the only disturbance to our otherwise chilled time is the need to get another log for the fire. Thankfully one our group was only too aware of what was going to be happening and packed a forest into his boot. I’m not joking. His car resembles a carpenter’s wet dream right now.

So, alcohol flowing, conversation flowing, and when Mr Pyro is allowed anywhere near the embers, the fire ends up flowing as well.

Oh fucking hell. I need to interject myself again. Earlier I did my obligatory Facebook quote thing. That was about half an hour ago. I decided to take a quick break from this, engage in a bit of conversation and in a lull, like a numpty, woke my phone up. How many eejits are liking and commenting? These better not require responses, I ain’t doing that****. Phew, I can get away with just ‘liking’ these. I truly can’t be doing with social media. I don’t know why I did it.

Anyway, what the fuck am I typing. Oh yes, I remember now. So watching the sun set on the year is quite special. I do not adhere to the December 31st progressing to January 1st requirements of a party, drunkeness and debauchery. However, any excuse to sit on a beach, wine in hand, feet warmed by fire and heart warmed by friends, that is something I do adhere to.

So please, for the love of all that is holy, can someone change the password on whoever’s connection I’m abusing, throw my tablet into the Atlantic and tell me again, why it was a good idea to paddle out and drink vodka, ‘cos that one still puzzles me.

Around a fire, with my surfboard not under me, but over yonder… now that is something I can get on board with. Fireworks launching from the relative safety of land (step away, Mr Pyro), drink in hand and ass on sand. My kind of evening.

Happy New Year.


*Event Horizon: (noun) a notional boundary around a black hole beyond which no light or other radiation can escape – a point of no return.

**Fuck Off Mode: (noun) activating the ‘do not disturb’ functionality on one’s mobile.

***I changed the title at the last moment. Vomitation Of Vestige wasn’t really the celebratory vibe I was going for.

****Love you all, really I do. It is the interuptions of notifications I dislike. Hence why they are usually off on my phone. I am pleased to see people I care about are safe, sound and still able to navigate their phone to correctly press the ‘like’ icon. Again, love to all.