When I was naught but an itsy-bitsy child, our family summer holidays were invariably spent at Mrs Ponsonby's guest house in Broadstairs, a Kentish seaside resort that considered itself a little more refined than either Margate or Ramsgate which towns lay to either side. Broadstairs had a fairly small bay with a jetty at one end making a small harbour to shelter a few boats. At the other end of the bay were rocks which were uncovered at low tide so we could scramble among the seaweed and rock pools. Also uncovered at low tide was what I can only describe as a seawater swimming pool - though I don't recall ever seeing anybody swim in it. Some of us would sail our boats there, though. The beach between harbour and rock pools was sandy and it was here that we spent most of our time as there was still a reasonably wide stretch of sand even at high tide.
The sand at the top of the beach only got wet when it rained so it was not a lot of good for building sand castles - although quite good for burying Dad up to his neck on the few, very few, occasions when he was with us and let us do it. It was the wetter sand below the high water mark that was better for building castles, especially when my brother and I were old enough to have done with filling a toy bucket and turning it upside down. We would build our castles perhaps three feet high and would fashion a runway round and down and through, down which we would run tennis balls. But even those elaborate sand castles would be nothing compared to what will be seen in Brighton from tomorrow. It is tomorrow that the city's annual sand sculpture festival opens. Some 2000 tons of sand have been imported especially, partly because we don't have sand in Brighton (except a very little at low tide) and if we did, it wouldn't be the right sort of sand. Anyway, the theme this year is music.
The Old Bat and I haven't been along to see the festival for some years now. When we went the theme was ancient Egypt and there were some fantastic sculptures on display. I haven't the faintest idea how the sculptors manage to keep the sand in place. Here are pictures of some of them.