not just the beach

In my mind, all beaches should look like this…

They don’t; and that one is a bit too far away for me to spend as much time there as I’d like. So I make do. A grey, stony, east coast beach still has wind and space and sea. Enough emptiness to clear the head.

At this seaside town I always call in for a potter round the old style department store. Here I could buy (and so can you when you come to visit) kilt pins, doilies, enormous undergarments, fancy bedlinen, antimacassars, mother of the bride outfits. Together we can admire the artfully arranged display of dusters in shades of yellow. We can get advice on coordinating our cushions and carpet with the living room suite. So much in one main street shop.

While our car load were belatedly tearing up the soft play place last week, I discovered the men’s department. Turns out that’s the place to go when you need a new bowler hat.

Seaside towns; so much more than the beach.


26 thoughts on “not just the beach

  1. Love it. Gimme any seaside or seaside town. I need regular doses of the smell and sound of the sea. I love the sound of that shop – shops like that used to have yellow cellophane in the window to stop the merchandise fading! There was such a shop in Gloucester for donkeys’ years but it’s gone and I’d be panicking if I wanted a kilt pin 🙂

  2. Every day is a school day…

    antimacassars plural of an·ti·ma·cas·sar
    A piece of cloth put over the back of a chair to protect it from grease and dirt or as an ornament.

    1. I have never known what that meant, I always got a picture of some sort of giant flower-pot in my head whenever it turned up in books.

      1. I was about to say ‘every one knows that…’ – but I won’t. not now. It may upset Tinman.

        Wiki tells more
        “Macassar oil was an unguent for the hair commonly used in the early 19th century. The poet Byron called it “thine incomparable oil, Macassar.” The fashion for oiled hair became so widespread in the Victorian and the Edwardian period that housewives began to cover the arms and backs of their chairs with washable cloths to preserve the fabric coverings from being soiled. Around 1850, these started to be known as antimacassars. They were also installed in theatres, from 1865.”

        (It saved my gran’s chairs from that more modern equivalent, Brillcream. What ever happened to Brillcream?)

  3. Deep moquette suites with antimacassars and cushions…. Granny where are you? If our weather remains cool, I’ll be down for some new elasticated top and bottomed fleece lined underdrawers – the kind you can tuck the shopping into! Not many of those old style shops left. 😦

  4. Oh how tempting! I’m nearly inclined to pop up and buy my mother of the bride outfit now so that I’ll have it in years to come. You’ll need one too, Speccy! Shall we grab a few dusters too and make a day of it?

  5. Our Southern California beach towns are very busy and full of activity…and it’s hard to find solitude, yet I love every minute of the ocean air and warm sand. But in Northern California we have many pockets of ocean coastline that really do mirror what you’e talking about. The beaches themselves ae solitary, colder and in a very natural state. And the little seaside towns have establishments that seem out of another era. I love to visit whenever I can! Debra

  6. Just come over to India. You will get miles and miles of such beaches throughout the year. The two monsoons follow one another and so, if the West coast is cloudy and wet, the East coast is sunny and bright and vice versa. Guranteed.

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