Friday, July 27, 2012

A Brief Interlude of Summer

Posts have once again been on the slide.  This is wholly due to the unrelenting and completely unseasonal weather.  I haven't much felt like blogging and have had nothing much to mention which doesn't involve whinging about the masses and masses of rain.  Summer thus far has been a complete non-starter and any thoughts of getting out to my favourite spots in countryside have been a distant dream.

There was one mildly interesting event which took place a couple of weeks ago as the Olympic torch relay came to town.  I was surprised that it actually ran right through Bognor Regis since other larger towns missed out.  We had hoped, with the various events in the town on the day, the weather would break for a few hours.  Alas as the torch reached the town the deluge of rain started once again soaking all 22,500 people lining the route...including myself.  As expected, after waiting around for hours, the torchbearer and ensemble dashed past in a matter of moments and was gone.  I did however get the important snap, the flame still lit even in these most challenging of conditions.  There wasn't much to it really, but then how often does one have the chance to see such events.

 I had seconds to capture the runner...the flame it hanging in there despite the horrendous conditions

 The Torches on standby in the official Olympic relay bus

A little over a week later and the news we had all been waiting for broke....The Jet Stream was finally moving north and in its wake the most glorious, hot, sunny summery weather.  Temperatures have for the last few days been better than many of the top holiday spots across the world and so I tried to make the most of it.

First up a bike ride along the canal to Chichester Marina/ Dell Quay area to watch the sail boats and yachts on the estuary.

 The canal running south of Chichester to the marina

Rain? what rain

The footpath which runs from the marina to Dell Quay, lots of idyllic
viewing spots

How the other half live

Time for lunch, a relaxing and peaceful spot

Looking north to Goodwood and the South Downs with Dell Quay in the foreground

At one point there was an Armada of boats

Then as the mercury continued to soar I contemplated a walk on the Downs.  A few problems presented themselves, an ongoing foot problem which I'm seeking treatment for at the pace of the NHS...6 months and counting and the fact that the temperature and humidity was so suddenly high I was worried I'd over do the walking and end up making myself ill.  So I decided to go somewhere much more appropriate and local...somewhere which I take so much for granted I very rarely stop and enjoy the occasion in such perfect conditions...The beach.

Ours isn't a flash Beach.  It doesn't host an iconic frontage or have a multitude of amusements. The Pier is so rusted it seems to lose chunks after every storm which rolls in. Hell for the most part it doesn't even have any sand (someone made a bad decsion a long time ago and the beach went all FUBAR...sand was washed away and replaced with shingle)...but when it hits 32 degrees C, it doesn't suck to hang out for a few hours.

One of the seafront cafes has for years had a display on the roof of Marilyn Monroe and a Blues Brother with a donkey...then this happened.

I even had a actual proper swim in the actual proper sea, for the first time in over 10 years.  The water temperature was, as expected, somewhere between cold and freezing and the funniest part of my day was listening to the reactions of teenagers as they ventured into the water.  One lad voiced his thoughts on the retractive qualities of the water none too eloquently and rather loudly much the the amusement of the elderly couple nearby.

  Fancy a dip...guaranteed to refresh at around 16C

There was lolling, dozing, catching up with Dirk Pitt's latest escapades, eating of a picnic lunch, aforementioned swimming, people watching and generally a relaxing time.  According to the reports the rain drenched summer is making a very unwelcome return next week and already the temperature has dropped so whether I'll make it onto the Downs this year at all is a bit TBC....grr arg!