To the beach today to make the best of the weather which looks like finishing on Wednesday morning as rain sweeps in for the rest of the week.
Whilst not as busy as August there were good crowds on the beach and so ideal for people watching. I noticed alongside us a couple arrived with one bed chair and two towels. The man busied himself putting the chair out. how gentlemanly I thought forgetting for a minute where I was. Once he had seemingly courteously laid out the towel on the chair he actually lowered himself on to it while his wife tried to get comfortable on the towel on the sand and pebbles. She needn’t have bothered for within a minute he remembered that he needed suncream and so she she was back on her feet to apply it.
So on my 60 minute walk I looked out for other examples of the solo beach chair scenerio. Believe it or not there were a further 12 examples where couples or whole families had bought a single chair and on every one of them sat the man of the house with not a single exception. I posted sometime ago about being born an Italian male as the pinnacle of achievement and this seems to endorse it yet again.
As someone who has always believed that my name band was switched in hospital after birth and that I should have been a wealthy trustifarian sitting on various beaches all my life. beach chairs are very important to me. I saw a design sometime ago on a website that allows people with inventions to look for private funding. This one had a beer cooler, umbrella, drinks holders, towel container, beach wheels for easy wheeling and a built in stereo system. Not bad I thought but my own invention still at the drawing board stage is for a similar one but with a sun tracking system that moves the chair automatically as the sun tracks it’s way across the sky. Now that is luxury.
Years ago when Pattaya was still a place to go to enjoy an holiday before the Russians bought it we stayed at The Royal Cliff in the the Royal wing ( I was with an airline and for some reason the hotel comp’d the week) . Down to the pool on the first day we went and selected our three bed chairs ( son had yet to arrive in this world) and as we settled on them the beach chair butler ( I kid you not) came up with three plaques and some nails. He tapped on to each chair our name and room number. These were ours for our stay. No having to leave towels, battle large Germans or getting up early to get the non shady chairs no just our very own with our names on them. Luxury. The other fine feature was each chair had a flagpole on it and when you wanted a drink you hoisted the flag. When the drinks butler had delivered them he lowered the flag rather like sunset and the game started all over again. Magic.
Today at the beach the calm sea seemed to encourage the octopuses and so many harpoon divers were bringing their catch in all day. No fish though. I had asked my fishing friend Oronzo about my favourite fish the Orata at dinner the other night. Not yet Mike he told me late October they start to appear and are around until late March. Odd I thought at the time because my local fishmonger has them displayed now for about €15 a kilo.
I have on my kindle an English/Italian dictionary so as I sat on the hard sand alongside Geraldine’s bedchair ( must do a post on being born an English male) I looked up orata. It is part of the sea bream family and is considered the most tasty of all the breams. I gazed out to sea imagining shoals and shoals of them swimming busily up from where ever they come ready to be caught in October. However a quick check on Wiki reveals that a mere 6,000 tonnes of orata are caught in the whole of the Mediterranean each year. So where do mine come from I wondered. Well 144,000 tonnes are harvested in fish farms dotted all around the various Mediterranean coastlines. So my orata has never visited secluded beaches, never swum in the proper sea, never told it’s kids tales of daring do on the high seas. Just battery fed and then onto the slab in the local fishmonger. Disappointing really isn’t it. Even worse if you paid €45 for one in that travel writer’s fictitious fish restaurant in Savelletri.