Leigh-on-the-sea and ballet delight

April 10, 2008

This morning Verity and I had a road trip to the town where she grew up – Leigh. It is a sea-coast town. We arrived when the sun was shining and the tide was out. Old fisherman’s boats, still in use, were stuck in murky ridges until the water would come to bobble them again. We wandered past sea-side sheds where men were cleaning out the days’ catch. Or rather, they were having a smoke at the back door while we walked by and I stared at their mammoth tattoos! You could hear the soft clanking of boats and a child collecting sea shells in the distance. Leigh on the sea was the kind of place you could sit on a bench facing the sun, close your eyes and let your ears and imagination run away with you.
I find it both fascinating and humorous the names of English pubs. The Old Hag, Dog and Duck, or De Olde Smack. Does it make you want to eat there? Maybe not. Does it make you want to go in? Totally!
Along the shore were these series of mini-cafes – greasy-spoon to the core and perfect – called the “The Arches”. After a cheeseburger and chips meal, I indulged again across the street when I saw a sign that offered fresh cinnamon and sugar donuts. I don’t know which one?! I’ll take both!
We walked in and around this 12th century church, also surrounded by gravestones. One dated back to a virgin who died at the age of 119 in 1609. I guess it was a big deal back then to be a virgin too!
Eventually the tide started to come in and we watched the once mud-anchored boats get swallowed up by sparkling sea-green. Looking out across, you’d spot the longest pleasure-pier in the world – one mile long – with a restaurant and shops at the end. Apparently there is a train that can take you out there if you choose not to walk!
I didn’t really want to leave this nostalgic and breath-taking town. It held so much food for the mind. I also learned today that ivy is actually a parasitic plant and suck the life from whatever it crawls over. I still stand on the thought that it is a gorgeous plant, however needs to be controlled I guess!
I had bought us tickets to the ballet tonight in Chelmsford at the Civic. It was the UK Central School Ballet final year tour. They did a repertoire from different ballets like Nutcracker and Swan Lake and Cinderella. If I had to choose my favourite, which is very hard, I think the one I emotionally connected with the most was one they did from Cinderella. The pianist took his place down front. One lady, one man. She is in her rags curled up on the floor, innocent and insecure. The Prince enters.
Dance with me.
Me? I don’t know how.
Let me show you

And he teaches her to dance with him. They fall in love. And she becomes free and uninhibited in his arms.
I said to Philip and Verity on the way home “That’s what I need! A prince who will take me in his arms and say ‘dance with me!’ and we dance!” Verity said “I think we have an incorrigible romantic on our hands!” This is very true.
What a perfect day. Walk on the sea. Good company. Cut some grass. Went to the ballet, front row. Rhubarb crumble before bed. *Happy Sigh*

You Might Also Like

  • Elaine Saunders April 11, 2008 at 7:49 AM

    The history behind Britain’s pub names is fascinating. Few were named by accident and most record events from history across 2000 years. They’ve been inspired by royalty, religion, love, sport, heroes and occasional scandal and, if you know what you’re looking for, they’re a pictorial history of Britain.

    Elaine Saunders
    Author – A Book About Pub Names

  • teeveebee April 13, 2008 at 9:10 PM

    I happened upon your blog and enjoyed it very much.

    If I ever have the opportunity, I’d love to visit Great Britain. Perhaps I’d spend some time in Oxford where I could drop by The Eagle and the Child, also known as The Bird and the Baby. If you remember, that is the name of the pub where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, among others, hung out to share and criticize each others works in progress.

    Keep up the good work on your blog!

%d bloggers like this: