Sand! In Brighton?
You can find the most ordinary substances in the most unexpected places. Brighton is renowned for its pebbles, so there's a wonderful irony in staging the world's largest sand sculpture festival in a beach resort which boasts no sand. The sand was imported from Holland. Holland is a little closer than Egypt and, apparently, has exactly the right kind of river sand for building tall sculptures.I didn't even know the festival was on, so it was a treat to find ourselves in Brighton in time to take it in. I love sand but Brighton wouldn't be Brighton without its pebbly beach. I'm happy with a pebble in hand, although it was Andrea who attempted the stone-skimming into the sea. I sat and watched. Pebbles mould themselves very well to a bottom and are surprisingly comfortable. Unlike sand, pebbles aren't that adept at creeping into every kind of crease and crevice; they find it hard to be inconspicuous. Don't knock a pebble, you'll likely come off worse.
Ok - so enough about pebbles and what about the lesbian gaze? I thought there might be interest in that topic. I've prepared a sonnet.
I’m back from Brighton where the pebbles rush
to greet the sea with tuneful chattering.
As water softens rugged stone, a hush
swells from their tranquil sighs, imagining
a future forming sand. A train declares
the journey to Black Rock. This faster route
to sandy parts erases time and bears
us to Egyptian feast - an absolute
array of hieroglyphics, pyramids
and mythic beasts. I build a fantasy
of girls at play on Sussex beach, eyelids
held low against the glare, their gaze on me,
or mine on them. In strong light who can tell?
A glimpse of breast? I bend to take a shell.
© 2005 Nicki Hastie
The weather was fantastic, the long shorts enjoyed their outing, and these breasts and that cheeky tongue deserved more than a second glance.