New Year by the sea

And so, to see in the New Year, I drank a couple of glasses of wine and went down to the seafront. It was a mild, almost-dry night, and there were plenty of people strolling the prom (even before the groups of more rowdy revellers spilled out of the pubs and clubs around midnight). A pair of wild rebels shouted something very rude at a police car and then tittered nervously: “Ooh, we could get arrested for that, you know!” (As I say, wild.)

aberystwyth beach new years eve 2004

(See here for some of the same views in daylight…)

There were couples with champagne. A party set up a mini firework display at the top end of the beach.

aberystwyth beach new years eve 2004

I smiled and said ‘Happy New Year!’ to strangers, but I felt sadness whenever I turned westward.

The tide was coming in. Leaning on the railings, it was beautiful, benign; the rhythmic patterns of the incoming waves were gently soothing. The street lights and the camera flash combined to give the water an atmospheric reddish glow.

aberystwyth beach new years eve 2004

Pretty, eh?

aberystwyth beach new years eve 2004

Even my slight difficulties with holding the camera steady (something to do with that wine, methinks) created some strange but pleasing effects. I think there were some fireworks in here somewhere…

aberystwyth beach new years eve 2004

Yet even this small stretch of water is known to be dangerous. There are treacherous currents, my friends. Watch your step.

aberystwyth beach new years eve 2004

Every year when the new students arrive, the warning posters go up: “Don’t drink and dive.” But every few years, it happens again: the sea claims the lives of those whose only crime was to drink a little too much and think they could play games with the waves. Last night, somehow, I could not bring myself to walk onto the beach. I stayed behind the railings, clutching my camera.

aberystwyth beach new years eve 2004

But the railings will not always keep you safe, either. The storms that batter the seafronts here and in other towns along this coast have taken their toll in the past. The sandbags are never too far away; the local lifeboat has never been idle for too long.

The defences are rebuilt after the storms; but it may be that before too long, we will have to surrender part of our beloved prom to the sea. It seems, right now, such a small sacrifice.

aberystwyth beach new years eve 2004

How can something so beautiful be so terrible?

Remember: What you can do.

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5 Responses to New Year by the sea

  1. Steve says:

    I *am* hungover at the moment. I don’t go out on a NYE any more – a sign of old age, humbug? (lol) I haven’t really hammered it this year by my old standards, either. Aber looks nice – it’s handy to live somewhere scenic this time of year,innit? Lucky you!

    As for the water, well, people will do what they can. Let’s hope this competitive donating by developed countries continues. Light and dark, missus. Just make sure one gets one’s share of light!

    As I type I’m on my fourth or fifth cup of tea and toast (hangover bane of choice) and I’m listening to R2’s prog on Duran Duran…

    …nope – they’re still crap. Remember Le Bon singing The Reflex at Live Aid? LMAO! Think I’ll bung Lexicon of Love on!

  2. profgrrrrl says:

    So very true about the beauty and frightening power of the sea. I grew up by the sea. I saw what it did. I got caught out on the water in some bad storms. I watched the water climb over barriers put in place to protect. One must respect it.

    Happy New Year!

  3. mjones says:

    Nice photos. Thanks!

  4. Jules says:

    *shocked* How can he say that, sis???? Duran were NOT crap – they were my heroes when I was a young lass!! Crap?? Crap?? *SULK*

    It is frightening what has happened in SE Asia – I cannot imagine what people are going through and, to be honest, I don’t want to try, as it too horrendous to comprehend.

  5. Sharon says:

    Uh oh. Now she’s trying to start an 80s pop war on my blog. (It’s true, she had all their albums.)

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