The time has come to talk about sand.
English: Post in the sand, Brancaster This single post is stuck at an odd angle in the sand, which is scurrying across the beach in a strong westerly breeze. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I’ve recently come to the conclusion that sand is fully responsible for sabotaging my beach experience and I am seeking some sort of intervention. I’ve had a gutful of sand sandwiches, sandy water and retrieving sand particles from orifices I shouldn’t be exploring.
Call it yet another symptom of my middle-age intolerance but when an adverse facet of your life begins to haunt your joie-de-vivre, my therapist says that something has to give. So I’m giving up the beach.
And yes, we did move to Australia to be close to the beach.
I’ve realised that sand does not in fact maketh the beach. That a beach without sand could potentially still be a great beach. That if we turfed the sandy areas of the beach and called in climate change to stop reneging on its promises and really crank up the ocean temperature just that few precious degrees, the pool industry would be out of business.
I DO get the draw of the beach, don’t get me wrong. I’m as attracted to the soporific sound of gentle waves crashing on the shore as the next person. I’m quite receptive to the feel-good factor of hot sun on my skin and and the resulting vitamin D infusion through my body (well, before it TITFs into a melanoma of course). I’m even quite partial to the revitalising powers of a refreshing dip in the ocean.
But then there’s the sand issue. Ever wondered why you never see your friends with pools on the beach?
It’s the sand. They know.
Sand is fundamentally an irritant, in what should be a relaxing environment. Sand is highly invasive. It is the faux-ami of everything beach culture stands for and is certainly not conducive to being chilled out. Frankly, I’d prefer to be air-lifted into a toddlers indoor play centre covered in lollies than lie on a sandy beach covered in sticky sun lotion.
Most of my reasons for avoiding the beach are connected to sand. I say ‘most’. Before I move onto the most serious of the ‘sand issues’, let me digress slightly and let us not forget the plethora of other minor nuisances associated with beaching, that make pools the more obvious choice, such as:
betrayal of the muffin top in the hands of a cheap tankini in the face of a wave;
remodelling of the bikini-top by rogue surf forcing uncensored exposure of mortifyingly sagging breasts;
the strain of finding the right angle to read (a position where the sun isn’t burning through your eye sockets like a laser and your arm still has some circulation);
the strain of achieving the right angle to perv or even sunbathe;
the shearing of delicate muscle tissue during over-liberal application of suntan lotion to difficult-to-locate body parts.
Not forgetting the sharks, of course, or all those other evil critters that lurk in the ocean. Waiting.
But the true culprit of beach hell is sand, as innocuous and appealing as it might look.
Here’s a small sample of the ways in which sand can impact the beach experience of the average innocent holiday-maker. For after years of extensive personal research, I have identified the following adverse bodily symptoms to demonstrate fully the human body’s natural intolerance to sand, and the evidence for why our beaches should be turfed:
Blistering of the feet soles thought to be linked to walking on hot sand between the boardwalk and the ocean. This has commonly been described as the ‘ouch, ouch…..ouch’ dance.
Extensive muscle fatigue leading to distortion of the human physique as a result of lengthy periods of time simply trying to get into a comfortable position on sand.
Skin abrasions caused by inadvertently mixing sun lotion with sand, leading to a concoction with powers akin to exfoliating cream leading to ‘sanding’ of the derma during intense application.
Blisters and bites caused by evil ants, lava, spiders and small crab critters that camouflage themselves heinously well in the sand, until they spot a food source.
Eye irritations caused by sand spray. The causes of ‘Sand Spray’ have been linked to annoying, mobile toddlers, thongs in motion, teenagers who think that the beach is the ideal spot to play a game of soccer and stray beach balls.
Inflammation of the many human orifices caused by the advanced burrowing capabilities of the common sand grain which seems peculiarly attracted to warm, moist areas that they can adhere to easily.
There are reasons the Sandman, ‘Sandy’, quicksand and the man who builds his house on sand have received such bad press.
Be aware. Turf the beaches.
Beach-Babe or Pool-Princess? Which are you?