Of South Easters and Bluebottles


This morning I woke up miserable. No reason, no problems, just plain mis, with a 65 k south easter blowing outside my window that told me I couldn’t go for my morning beach walk. Sulk, sulk.

But I forced myself down to the beach in the howling gale. The only one there, the only one stupid enough to be there, I took off my sandals and blew along barefoot over a carpet of bluebottles almost an inch thick, trying to avoid their trails. Mutter, mutter. Until halfway down, ahead of me I noticed another person on the beach – a frail looking little lady, probably around 80 or so, bent against the wind and proceeding down the damp sand in the most intriguing way – step, step, jump onto one foot and stagger a bit. Step, step, jump – and after each jump it took a while for her to recover an upright position. Step, step, jump ...

Fascinated, I caught up with her, and against the wind, with each jump I heard “crack”, “crack”. Light dawned – she was jumping on bluebottles and laughing as they exploded. As I drew up next to her, her grin said it all: “Fun, isn’t it? You should try it!” So I did – and the two of us proceeded down the beach step, step hop, step step hop, laughing our heads off together and separately!

She taught me something, that little old dear. And I blew home feeling a million dollars!