This gig is my second “tour of duty”in the area. I write then as an accidental “resident” of the Sandbanks in December. I notice myself falling into a diurnal rhythm. A repeat breakfast from one narrow section of the buffet. Drinking fruit tea. Going for the same run three mornings in a row. Most peculiar.
The latter was averted this morning by walking instead of jogging. (I paid attention to what my fine athletic physique was telling me . IE: Woke up aching all over. Don’t run, you fool.) And what a splendid morning for a stroll on the beach: 12C, still and glassy waters. Sunglasses donned I head out toward the Haven. The client requires me to attend their evening shift so what else can I do with my mornings?
A tractor grooms the beach, back and forth, so it looks pristine and the only thing that marks me out as an interloper is the absence of a pooch. The beach is laughably quiet and would be totally empty if not for the dog walkers. (Unlike the town centre and shopping parks which are thronging with retail hell.) It’s also clear that every hound is having an absolute ball.
Note to self, come back as a Sandbanks dawg in the next life.
Out and about at this more sedate pace I reflect on the odd nature of this neighbourhood. As is well known, there’s no shortage of money here. Ker and indeed, ching. Some of the properties are cartoonish: their scale, their use of lavish materials, their design language and their, well, egomania. Some properties scream “look at me“. This is point is empahsised by the occasional 1930s detached house which look like a misplaced model village exhibit amongst the uber-pads. The other thing that strikes me about these monster des-res is that so many of them are dormant. No signs of life: no lights, no Christmas decorations, no one enjoying their dream house. The only activity seems to be from tradespeople whose vans abound. Presumably they are busily maintaining the properties in 100% shape for the 2 days that their time poor owners can spend there.
On my way back into the reception area I – literally – bump into Peter Duncan of Blue Peter fame. There are many people milling ahead of a kiddies Christmas party. I make a quick staircase to my room.
Damn, should have asked him for a Blue Peter badge.
To temper my disappointment, it’s a treat to read on a sunny balcony. Not only that, the Vitamin D clearly helps my grey matter. (Concise Crossword NAILED.)
[Sigh] It’s been a week of “what to do?” fresh air mornings and long, long, long office bound evenings. Will be almost strange to go back to “real life” in Wiltshire.
I wonder if the myriad of Grand Designs properties will be utilised during the festive period, because most of them show zero signs of life…
What a waste.