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"My Mam walks with a stick and we had a good laugh watching her being pestered by a large Pot-bellied Pig.."
- Mike Smith

Mike

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UK

Just another Friday afternoon
by Mike Smith, 38, Hull, England
Sep 7, 1999

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England
Mike's Mam and the pig

On Friday I had a pleasant afternoon taking my six year old son Eddie up to Skipsea where my Mam and Dad were staying in a holiday caravan with my sister Sue and her little girl, Crystal. Skipsea is a village near to the coast, about 25 miles from Hull, the town where I live. About a mile from the village, very close to the sea, is a large caravan site, where my parents have regularly stayed for many years now, renting a caravan at a reduced rate from one of their friends. Sadly the friend died recently, and the chance of a reduced rate rent wasn't available this year. This made the large caravan site a little too expensive, but fortunately, there are other, smaller sites in the area.

My folks ended up renting a wonderful caravan situated in the garden of a cottage that is so close to the sea that it will probably fall off the edge of the cliff some time over the next few years as the soft boulder clay of the Holderness cliffs, coupled with an occasionally tempestuous North Sea, means that the area has the fastest rate of coastal erosion in Europe. The large window at the end of the caravan was about five metres from the edge of the cliff, and standing in the middle of the caravan and looking through the window, with the tide in, it is possible to imagine that you are looking out to sea from the cabin of some sort of ship.

When I arrived the tide was right out. I stood at the edge of the cliff (it's only about 20 foot or so high) and saw my Mam with Sue and Crystal way out on the sands, waving back to me. We had a walk along the beach and then, as I had promised I drove everyone out to a local farm, where the children are allowed to wander amongst the animals and pet and feed rare breeds of pigs and sheep. My Mam walks with a stick and we had a good laugh watching her being pestered by a large Pot-bellied Pig, who wanted to take it from her so that it could chew the end. Eddie and Crystal had a fine time romping around pretending to be sheep dogs, and we finished the outing with ice creams all round from the farm shop.

The most excellent part of the day for me though was when we got back to the caravan in the early evening. We took some plastic chairs and sat in a line at the top of the cliff watching the tide come in. Eddie and Crystal played happily nearby whilst we looked out to sea watching and listening to the water lapping over the rocks below. The sun was going down behind us, and for a while we could see our outlines shadowed on each wave that rose from the waters. My Mam and Sue made some sandwiches and coffee, and we sat out there for well over an hour, soaking up the atmosphere.

It was a lovely evening and the sea was calm. From Skipsea you can see the white chalk cliffs of Flamborough Head with its two lighthouses just to the north of the town of Bridlington. The coast to the south of Brid has its own smell, its own character, and has been the scene of many happy holidays and days out for me ever since I was a small child. Sitting up there on the cliff top with my parents and my sister had a strange nostalgic feel to it, resonances of seaside holidays of many years ago. The seaside is a magical place. I am fortunate to live so close to it.

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