Seaside Holiday

No one swam in the seas around Britain

when I was a child.

The water was empty beyond the edge

of the shore

even on the warmest of days.

Paddling was as adventurous as it got.

Nothing wetter was allowed,

nothing wetter was desired

in that cold, cold water

with our trousers were rolled up,

or skirts tucked in knickers

we took care not to kick or jump,

care not to let the cold wet waves

go too far.

Now the seas are warming

and clothes purpose made 

for playing splash.

No one sits in deckchairs

wearing overcoats and newspaper hats

even on British beaches

it’s bikinis and sunscreen

and most are on the Spanish Costas now

Affluence and climate change

have changed traditions.

Soon we’ll really feel the heat

where will we go then.


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