And so to the pier. Well, not exactly as the pier is no longer in existence - a bit like Brighton's West Pier, I suppose. The pier about which I talk was constructed about seven or eight years ago and was built to replace the coffee shop. But perhaps I should start the explanation from the beginning.
Several eons ago, long before the advent of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, I stumbled across a forum that had been set up by a Californian husband and wife team (I think) specifically for members of Lions Clubs to discuss matters common to all clubs or to exchange ideas. This attracted a following of Lions from the USA, the UK, Australia and other parts of the world. But the intended serious side of the forum was not much in evidence as we soon started teasing one another about a wide variety of things such as the English liking of Bovril and Marmite. Eventually the founders decided that things had got out of hand and announced their intention of pulling the plug.
The challenge (if challenge it was) was accepted by another Lion from Los Angeles and things went on in much the same vein. Somewhere along the line we seemed to lose a few followers but we gained more. Milt, for it was he who had set up the replacement forum, also became a little agitated about how much it was costing him to host the scheme which still saw almost no action on the serious side. In the end, he, too, pulled the plug.
It was the Coffee Shop which was the replacement, established by Paul from Birmingham, England. The number of followers dwindled to a dozen or so regulars and some long-lasting friendships have developed. (These forums have achieved that if they achieved nothing else.) Unfortunately, Paul also decided to act the prima donna and close the coffee shop, whereupon I set up a replacement Under the Pier.
Times change, new products are developed and Facebook came along. The number of people dropping by Under the Pier fell away and yesterday I noticed that it was nearly a year since the last posting on the serious side and six months on the chatty side. The time had obviously come to pull down the pier. So it's gone.
Brighton's West Pier is nearly gone as well. Storm lashed, ship crashed and set on fire. There's very little left but still there is talk of rebuilding.