Weekend in Barnham, Bognor by Carol Wain
Online - 03 August 2020
Weekend in Barnham, Bognor – a late Lockdown Visit
Returning to my old childhood holiday haunts,
Finding I have a sister resident in coastal Sussex:
Arun, the district embracing Bognor and Climping.
Her recent move to Barnham with partner newly wed,
Inviting me for this so needed rest-cure weekend,
The time is fitting after Lockdown's drawn out conflicts.
A spacious converted farm cot with pretty green garden
Longer than it looks, and a resident chicken
Laying eggs for breakfast; water features splash,
Trickle and trill, home to goldfish, carp...
An ageing big red dog, smooth-coated, easy,
Approaches with woofs and tail-wags, snuffling.
Passing the time in summer sun and gentle showers,
Chatting about family, the virus and our lives -
While J's man continues to improve the estate:
His Harley Davidson monster bike gleams in the garage.
We draw and paint in her craft-shed, chilling to music.
Then drive to local beaches and a stretch of dunes.
Some rare sand lizards live in the marram grass;
We walk on the Strand, wet with worm casts.
A lone detectorist searches for good metal,
While families walk dogs: Labradors, Dalmatians.
A diving rig with black clad crew turns into the Arun,
As we trudge up the shingle to her green convertible.
I slept so well in my comfy guest bed, peaceful -
With marble ensuite bathroom, nothing to disturb.
Enjoying healthy food, cooked by someone else!
I pack my watercolour, take a morning stroll,
Goodbyes to all, including dog and chicken -
Then home, mask-clad by train to Richmond and my cats.
by Carol Wain
[Poem written on a seaside break with family - younger sister J & partner - after Lockdown eased, July. 2020. We walked on Littlehampton Beach and Dunes over 2 days.]
Weekend in Barnham, Bognor