Bea leaves for her new home in the North next week. We went over to Eastbourne today to take her for lunch (at the Golden Galleon), and we had a walk round Cuckmere Haven afterwards. It was cloudy and sunny with a strong wind and beautiful Autumn light.
The next time we see her it will probably be Up North. And hopefully she will still be coming to stay with us, although she is no longer a bus ride away.
We managed to get ourselves stuck in the ladies loo. We could not find the right door. First we tried to go in to the Mother and Baby Changing Room, then we found ourselves heading into a broom cupboard. When we finally got out we found Captain Butterfly waiting outside, his profile of weary patience featuring strongly. We then found some Fools Gold (pyrites) on the beach.
I feel there is probably a poem in that somewhere, but as I don't write them anymore, I won't be able to find it.
But there is a poem by Thomas Hardy I want to put in here. Because its not a goodbye to Bea, but its goodbye to Eastbourne and so many memories of her and Brian there. And I was also thinking of my mother, as a child, evacuated with her convent classmates to a Convent on the South Coast during the war.
THE MARBLE-STREETED TOWN by Thomas Hardy (1914?)
I reach the marble-streeted town,
Whose "Sound" outbreathes its air
of sharp sea-salts ;
I see the movement up and down
As when she was there.
Ships of all countries come and go,
The bandsmen boom in the sun
A throbbing waltz ;
The schoolgirls laugh along the Hoe
As when she was one.
I move away as the music rolls:
The place seems not to mind
That she - of old
The brightest of its native souls -
Left it behind!
Over this green aforedays she
On light treads went and came,
Yea, times untold ;
Yet none here knows her history -
Has heard her name.