Monday, August 16, 2010

Beach Views

It amuses and amazes me how beach-goers are so willing to shed any inhibitions about showing their raw flesh to the world and just letting it all hang out.  Well not all, at least not in these parts where nudity is not permitted and Speedos and string bikinis are (fortunately) rare.

While I generally consider it a good thing that people neither be ashamed of their bodies nor too self-conscious to go to the beach, I am confused by the ongoing dedication to baking, broiling, and generally roasting one's self once there. 

Rump Roast

I have to admit that I am loath to don a bathing suit and will only do so only if confronted with the inevitability of sitting in the blazing sun on a shadeless beach with no hint of a breeze, balmy or otherwise.  It's possible that my own great-grandparents had some influence on this rather prudish approach I take to my personal beach attire.

Here are two versions of a photo from August 1958 of Nanar and Grandad Newport enjoying a day at the beach in White Rock, BC.  The photo on the left replicates how the picture might have turned out if I'd taken it when I was at the beach this past weekend.  The 2nd version puts us back into a more nostalgic frame of mind.

And this one goes for the full-blown misty, water-coloured, faded memory effect.  Don't they look like they're having a marvellous, fun day at the beach?!
(I suspect they were only in it for the anticipated fish'n'chips)

If I am so unwilling to clad myself in skimpy attire and bare my aging, tender skin to the harmful rays of the sun you may be wondering what possessed me to head off for some beach baking on the weekend.

Why, nothing less than an unanticipated return visit from a very special somebody!  And I can say that I had a fabulous day at the beach with my two special some buddies, bathing suit and all!

Beach Bake Boogie-woogie


  1. you had me laughing there when you put the fully clothed picture of your grandparents posing at the beach... I don't know why it was just funny... and a lovely shot of you and your twin.. Don't you love that!!

  2. Surely a world on its own. Must be years since last I spend a summer at a beach...Please have you all a good Tuesday.

  3. I went to a beach party once wearing olden day swimming gear! I could probably have just as well gone to the Antarctic with the amount of clothes I had on!
    Am glad you had a grand day out nonetheless, and for the record I don't do basting either. I stay indoors if I can, or at least in the shade - otherwise the ice in one's drink melts too quickly!!

  4. Your grandparents were the best!!! What a fabulous image. Oh yes, letting everyone in on one's secrets is pretty hilarious especially as we age. Maybe your grandmother had the right idea afterall.

  5. Gwen,
    Me and my twin! Haha. Don't let her hear you say that.

    Those are my great-grandparents; my grandparents were also at the beach, in bathing suits. I'm surprised that my gr-grandfather was wearing what looks to be a baseball cap. I guess it was appropriate for informal beach wear.

  6. Robert,
    The beach is very much a world unto its own and sometimes I feel like an alien visitor there forced to wear a skimpy spacesuit in order to survive. But I love being by the water and taking walks there, etc. People watching is very interesting. You haven't taken your little boy to the beach as yet? What a discovery that will be!

  7. Saj,
    You and I will have it made in the shade, then. We can wear big hats and wafty dresses and listen to the clink of the ice in our glasses accented by the whooshing sound of the waves. Should we have little paper umbrellas in our drinks? I have trouble getting them stuck in my nostrils.

  8. Patricia,
    My grandparents actually did wear bathing suits (big ones!) but this photo is of my great-grandparents. It takes a certain panache to expose all one's best-kept aging secrets to one and all, but I think no one really gives a damn at the beach. It's not the old bags (pardon the expression--no pun intended!) that are being ogled anyway.

  9. Ah Lucky You !

    A day at the beach with the best company imaginable...

    Love all the pix, and can only agree about the concerns related to skin cancer in the works for many... Me, I burn like a lobster in no time, have to be extra careful, so I'm with your great-grandfather there... hat, covered legs & arms... Priceless...

    So, speaking of lobsters, is that what was on the dinner menu ??? And did Saj bring the white wine ? Properly chilled ?

  10. Gosh, I love the beach and hate acres of vile flesh
    but I like it that everyone is having a good time
    sans electronic devices.........mostly

    I have to keep my opinions to myself!!!

  11. BrOwen,
    You need a beach suit yourself. Seersucker, perhaps; and a Panama hat. I particularly like my great-grandad's dashing Argyle socks! Yes, don't forget to wear your best shoes and socks when you go to the beach, Owen. But I guess your beach bopping days are done for the season, now that you've returned to the factory. I'm sure you, too, shared some glorious beach days with the best of company, though, in your glorious week of freedom and joy.

    As for the menu, it consisted of pan-seared scallops, freshly caught that morning, though not by us. We bought them from the roadside lobster & scallop truck on the way home. Had our fill of lobster, really, for awhile. You know how it is.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to climb back up on the bar over at the Sagittarian's where we're dancing and blaming it on the Bossa Nova. See you there after work?

  12. Elizabeth,
    You can broadcast your opinions quite freely here! I find the older I get (and I'm getting up there)the less of a self-censor I have on expressing my own opinions. A blog's not a very good place to hide them, anyway. The truth will out!

    I've noticed a lovely lack of blaring radios at the beach these days, due to the various electronic devices plugged into people's ears. What a welcome relief that is. Another bonus is that it seems either people are worried about messing up their cell phones with sand or they don't get reception at the beach: There's a welcome lack of loud yahoos strolling around broadcasting their inane phone conversations.(See what I mean about not keeping my opinions to myself?)

  13. Patricia!!

    I hope you find this addendum. I reread my previous comment to you and hope you didn't think I was referring to you (or me) as old bags! I was just talking about how older folks gradually become invisible to those that tend to ogle. One of the benefits of aging?

  14. I do believe the pail and spade would be yours - so what would you have been wearing at this day at the beach? I remember a plaid, ruffled number I received as a hand-me-down.
    I'm guessing you don't want to join me in Mexico in November? There's sand, ocean, tequila, art, music, food and spa. WILL u wear a bathing suit?

  15. Hey, can you turn up the bossa nova a little, it needs to thump just a little louder to shake the walls, while you two are shaking the bar by dancing on it...

    And I just read this somewhere :

    " I feel like a small unknown but all-knowing insect-like creature that inhabits and explores this world in the warming light of day and the electric time of blue night. "

    Isn't that magical ??? An unknown but all-knowing insect-like creature... is that how you see yourself ??? And if only "insect-like", what are you in fact then ??? Certainly all-knowing, we've already established that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, and all-seeing...

    Your images here also crackle and hiss if you listen closely... or is that just the fat frying in the sun ???

  16. Carmenooch
    Do you really think our parents saved my old bathing suit for 8 years to hand it down to you???

    Hmmm, Mexico in November? You had me at 'tequila'. I will BRING my bathing suit...but no guarantees with it.

  17. Owen
    What strange writings you read and see fit to quote!

    Roxana's images tend to make me speak in tongues, what can I say.

    "Fat frying in the sun" hahahaha! I hope they put their sun pan lotion on.

  18. love that picture of your great grandparents - priceless - and after seeing some rather scary naked people on Fire Island (off Long Island) this summer, I am very pleased to be back to mexican modesty on the beaches here....phew!!

  19. How spendidly clever you are with photography. A wonderful read, and one that had me smiling at your dry wit.

  20. Warden,
    Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy tea-and-ticketing schedule to join us at the beach. Would you care for a dry martini to go with my dry wit?

  21. Catherine
    I almost missed you there! Must have been momentarily distracted by those acres of burning flesh. Lovely to have you back in blogland. I can only imagine (but prefer not to) the scary scene of Fire Island. Can you tell that my great-grands were British?