Life’s a Beach

Summer has come to Bigtown at last, along with the normal accompaniment of lobster tans and dubious fashion choices – but that’s enough about me. Yesterday was the start of our cycle campaign summer rides which start and end on the river and jolly nice it was too in the sunshine. The river in Bigtown is one of its nicest features – complete with salmon fishing, herons, kingfishers and the occasional otter – and when we first moved here we couldn’t work out why one bank was entirely given over to car parking and a tatty street filled with takeaways and empty carpet warehouses. Our puzzlement lasted until the river first properly flooded, which now happens pretty much every winter, inundating the carpark and street, takeaways and all.

The river front path is also one of the main cycle routes through the town, and very pleasant it is too, and I couldn’t help but notice that every time the river flooded it deposited a load of silt and sand onto the path. Most of it gets worn or washed away, but there’s one sort of bay with a bench and some railings, looking out over the river, which is not on the path and so doesn’t get cleared, and is now quite filled with sand. I suppose it was inevitable that – as the sun came out and summer got underway – that this has been mistaken for one of those artificial beaches – it even had a sandcastle on it when we went past. After all, Paris has them on the Seine, London on the Thames – why shouldn’t Bigtown have one too? It’s just that I’ll bet the ones in Paris and London aren’t deposited there along with a nice river full of not-very-dilute sewage.

Still, I don’t suppose the average sandpit at your local park is going to be all that much more hygienic. And they do say that children should ingest a few germs now and then to keep their immune systems on their toes…

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2 Responses to Life’s a Beach

  1. Andy in Germany says:

    I like the way the local council’s solution to the flooding and sediment that gets left behind is to ignore it until it goes away again. I wonder how fast they’d move if it was a road, or if the flooding was in the posh end of town…

  2. disgruntled says:

    In fairness they’ve got big plans for the flooding. But yes, the sediment on the path can take care of itself.

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