(SETTING: Ron and Fred are on a day trip to Canvey Island, Essex, UK. They're sitting on the sea wall along the esplanade looking out to - a very rough - sea. Very windy, Ron is taking some deep breaths of 'sea breeze' into his lungs.)
- After inhaling two deep long breaths Ron says to Fred who is sitting next to him on the sea wall,
"Yer don't find that anywhere else Fred. They av sea breezes at uvver places, but it aint the same as the one they've got 'ere at Canvey. Cor, made me come over a bit dizzy that did. Knockin' out all the London muck from me lungs I s'pose, shock t' the system it is."
"Don't fink I'll be able to stay 'ere sittin' on this sea wall fer long, Ron. Bit too much ov a cold wind for me this is."
"Sissy. Sea breeze is all that is. It must be over fifty years since I breaved in this Canvey sea breeze. Fink I'll be alright t' try anuvver cuppla deep ones now....(deep breath - deep breath - cough, cough) .. Oh yes, that's forcin' up n out all those years ov London rubbish. This sea breeze 'ere seems to av its own unique smell as well it does. Get a few whiffs of it up yer nostrils Fred, you'll be feelin' like you're a teenager again in no time. Make a fortune they would if they could bottle it."
"All I can smell is oil."
"Yeah, there is a bit of oil smell mixed in wiv it now yer mention it. Must be comin' from that long oil tanker ship way out there Fred. See it? Way out there, long rusty red coloured fing."
"I can see it. That tankers a long way out at sea fer us t' be gettin' a whiff of the oil from 'ere though."
"Wind's blowin' in our direction. Carries sahnds n smells fer miles across the sea the wind does."
"The sea breeze yer mean."
"Yeah, the sea breeze does. Didn't you ever come 'ere as a nipper at all, Fred?"
"Nah, first time I saw the coast was just after I was married. Twenty-four I was, 'oneymoon at Bognor. She 'ad 'er shingles at Bognor, then I 'ad chicken pox after we got back from the 'oneymoon."
"Tell yer what, Fred. The next day out we av on a coach we'll go there. Only fair seein' as I chose Canvey this time."
"Nah, fanks fer suggestin' it Ron, but it would just bring back bad memories............ Aint you cold Ron? I am. I'm cold."
"No, I'm alright."
"Oh, sod it..... winds taken me 'at now!"
"Ah, yer won't catch that Fred. Lost a few meself I av at Canvey. Loads did. They'd lose their own ones then end up goin' 'ome wiv someone elses that'd come blowin' t'wards 'em. My old mum took 'ome eleven one Sundee."
"Its blown right across the field. My favourite 'at that is."
"Rotten, 'orrible wind. I'm fed up!"
"Aint yer got anuvver one in yer bag there?"
"If I 'ad one I wouldn't put it on 'ere. I'll av t' get me 'ood out from inside the collar ov this raincoat and put that on over me 'ead. Least I can tie it up rahnd me neck wiv the chord. Be a bit warmer anyway I s'pose. Bloody place is deserted."
"Wasn't years ago, Fred. There'd be fahsands ov people spread all along that grass years ago. Especially Sundees. Loads ov families up from London there'd be wiv their Ford Poplars, Vauxhall Victors, n motorbikes wiv the sidecars. Fahsands ov 'em. All avin their picnics. The dads 'd get the old primus stoves goin' then leave the mums t' boil up a kettle ready ferra nice cuppa while they'd get a ball 'nd av a kick abaht wiv the kids on the grass or show 'em 'ow t' get a kite up."
"Wouldn't av ad much trubble gettin' a kite up 'ere, biggest problem would've been 'oldin onto it wivout takin' off."
"Saw a car pulled along by a kite once I did 'ere. Geezer 'd tied it t' the bumper."
"Left the 'andbrake off 'ad 'e?"
"No, don't fink so. Then over there there'd be the amusements. Rides, one arm bandits n that, little places sellin 'ot dogs, and fish n chips. Winkles, mussels, whelks, cockles, candyfloss, toffee apples, sticks o' rock. Then after scoffin' that lot dahn me uncle Charlie would sick it all up over the sea wall before drivin' 'imself and 'is family back to 'oxton in 'is old Austin Cambridge. Liked a few beers as well ov 'course did me uncle Charlie. Brahn ale man 'e was. Yeah, 'e knew 'our to enjoy 'imself did my uncle Charlie."
"Oh sod it, it's startin' t' rain now."
"Oh ignore the rain. Look out there at that water. Take in the majesty ov 'er. She's in a mood today Fred. Frowin' a little tantrum she is."
"She looks bloody livid t' me."
"Just fink of all the famous British names who've sailed out t' sea from them waters there. Captain Cooke, Sir Francis Drake, Lord Nelson. Canvey Island would've been the last bit of England Nelson sighted before 'eading off for the battle of Trafalgar. Prob'ly made the difference between victory or defeat that did Fred. When Nelson looked over 'ere from the deck of HMS Victory n saw Canvey Island, well I recken that was when 'e realised what 'e was gonna be fightin' for."
" Lucky 'is ship didn't get blown over n sink on its way through this bit."
"They 'ad t' wait for a tail wind I s'pose. I bet there's some nice cod swimmin' abaht out there annal."
"........... 'ad enuff then? We've seen the sea."
(to be continued... )