Friday, 28 May 2010

Guest Post: Life's a Beach

Today I've swapped blogs with Becky over at Single Mummy, as part of the Guest Post Day, organised by Erica at Little Mummy. Head over to Single Mummy to catch up on Becky's blog, which tells about her getting to grips with life as a single mum to her two gorgeous children,  and to read my post, 'Stepping up to the plate', about becoming more independent.


Thanks Erica for another Guest Post day and a chance to meet new bloggers and have new input on our own blogs.

As I sat on my picnic rug on Camber Sands on a slightly chilly Saturday morning last weekend I began to think about all the beach trips I had as a child. How many millions of people have enjoyed or endured a family day on the beach? Some things about those beach trips haven’t changed since the 1970s but in other ways they have.

Children still want to build sandcastles and dig holes to be buried in or to turn into a car or a boat or anything else their imagination and their parents’ ingenuity can create. They still love jumping over the waves and screaming when they are splashed by the cold & salty water. You still hear the adults shouting at their kids to “stop throwing the sand around”. Probably because of all this sand chucking you still get sand in the sandwiches… There are still the perennial games of boules, beach cricket and ball games.

Other things have changed either because society has changed or that the climate has. Unlike in the 1970s very few children were running around with nothing on at all for fear of other adults looking at them. Most of the younger ones were wearing the all in one swimming costumes which provide sun protection. All over the beach were little sun shelters either for babies or whole families. Unlike the woman on Brighton Beach most parents were obviously conscious of the dangers of the sun. The majority were cajoling children into regular application of sun tan cream.

I can remember there being nothing stronger than factor 4 cream and even that was hardly ever used. We made do with the windbreaks and keeping cool in the sea. Sunburn wasn’t seen as a problem mostly just an annoyance that would go away after several days on the beach.

Back then I’m sure we were allowed to roam quite a way from our parents even on the beach. Now most parents were keeping their children within eyesight and many took advantage of the coastguard’s free emergency wristbands. These had space for mobile numbers to contact parents of a lost child. Back then you would simply shout and hope.

By the time my children have their own children I wonder how days out on the beach will have changed? Will it be deemed “safe” for children to be on the beach in the sun at all? What technological advances will make it a different kind of day out. I’m sure children will still want to just get out the bucket and spade and build those sandcastles but they may well be covered from head to toe in protective clothing.

Enjoy taking your kids to the beach and I hope you all stay safe and un-sunburned!
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