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Weekend in Barnham, Bognor by Carol Wain

Arts Richmond

Online - 03 August 2020

Weekend in Barnham, Bognor by Carol Wain


Weekend in Barnham, Bognor – a late Lockdown Visit

     Returning to my old childhood holiday haunts,
  Finding I have a sister resident in coastal Sussex:
  Arun, the district embracing Bognor and Climping.
Her recent move to Barnham with partner newly wed,
  Inviting me for this so needed rest-cure weekend,
The time is fitting after Lockdown's drawn out conflicts.

A spacious converted farm cot with pretty green garden
         Longer than it looks, and a resident chicken
    Laying  eggs for breakfast; water features splash,
          Trickle and trill, home to goldfish, carp...
    An ageing big red dog, smooth-coated, easy,
  Approaches with woofs and tail-wags, snuffling.

Passing the time in summer sun and gentle showers,
     Chatting about family, the virus and our lives -
     While J's man continues to improve the estate:
His Harley Davidson monster bike gleams in the garage.
 We draw and paint in her craft-shed, chilling to music.
   Then drive to local beaches and a stretch of dunes.

    Some rare sand lizards live in the marram grass;
      We walk on the Strand, wet with worm casts.
        A lone detectorist searches for good metal,
   While families walk dogs: Labradors, Dalmatians.
  A diving rig with black clad crew turns into the Arun,
As we trudge up the shingle to her green convertible.

    I slept so well in my comfy guest bed, peaceful -
   With marble ensuite bathroom, nothing to disturb.
    Enjoying healthy food, cooked by someone else!
        I pack my watercolour, take a morning stroll,
        Goodbyes to all, including dog and chicken -
Then home, mask-clad by train to Richmond and my cats.

                                                            by Carol Wain

[Poem written on a seaside break with family  - younger sister J & partner - after Lockdown eased, July. 2020.  We walked on Littlehampton Beach and Dunes over 2 days.]

Weekend in Barnham, Bognor

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