It’s been one year since I got on an airplane, flew over to London, then took a bus to Southampton where I stayed for nine days. I figured one way of celebrating that anniversary was to take another step towards finishing these logs explaining what I did each day. Luckily, none of those days are really lost to bad memory.
Day Seven was entirely about one thing: going to the beach. My friend had work this day, so I was entirely on my own. I got a cappuccino and a chocolate croissant at the Southampton station, and took the train over to Bournemouth in the afternoon. The first thing that blew my mind about Bournemouth was how tropical it was, not just naturally (hot temperatures, big palms everywhere) but also the man-made aspects… Bournemouth had the tall, hi-rise condos in pastel colors that one would expect of a Floridian city like Daytona, and a long stretch of shops leading up to a bustling boardwalk. I spotted some places to consider for lunch along my way to the beach, and another “Orange Rooms” bar like the one I was at on Day One.
Anyways, once I got to the beach and had a look around, I made up my mind to listen to some music and lie down on the beach for roughly an hour or so. I was relaxed, but I was thinking about how funny it was that I made it here – not just England, but Bournemouth, on my own. Not like it’s difficult to take the train somewhere… but here I was, single American laying down on a beach in a town I knew nothing about, and it was perfect. No goals or plans at the moment but to relax, and get tropical drinks somewhere.
After getting thoroughly sunburned on the beach in Bournemouth, I trekked back to the boardwalk to get lunch. Aruba struck me as the type of bar that would be able to serve a tropical drink befitting of the warm weather I was enjoying. Two Singapore Slings; two because I wanted to enjoy myself, but not three, because I wanted to make it back to Southampton after all.
What I would give to remember what music I was listening to at the time. I remember downloading audiobooks for the first time to make the flight go by quicker, but I certainly wasn’t exploring Bournemouth to the sounds of A Song of Ice and Fire being read aloud. I admit, it’s also entirely impossible I wasn’t listening to anything, consciously deciding to take in the sounds of Bournemouth, while at the same time allowing me to be more alert to a country whose traffic laws were not my own.
Still, one of the images that sticks out the most about Bournemouth were these private little… things… made for families to avoid the sun on the beach? Made for families to change into their bathing suits? They were organized by color and were really amazing to photograph.
Gimlets and Q.I.
When I arrived back in Southampton I waited in the main Quay for my friend to get off work, and for dinner we had what else, but Burger King. We then picked up some cheap grocery store Gin and lime juice, and proceeded to drink Gimlets, while watching Stephen Fry’s trivia game show, Q.I. which absolutely has to be one of the more British combination of activities I participated in during my nine days in England.