Pull up a deckchair
‘Pull up a deckchair, breathe in the salty air, hear the cry of the gulls.’ Elevate artist Stephanie Jalland invites us to gaze at the sea with her, as she reminisces about beach holidays of times past.
“I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky”
from Sea Fever by John Masefield
We have been packing our beach bags since 1626 when Elizabeth Farrow discovered a stream of acidic water running down the cliff and into the sea of the South Bay. The water healed ailments because of its chemical makeup. Visitors flocked to take both the therapeutic waters and bathe in the sea and Scarborough Spa became Britain’s first seaside resort. Bathing machines, beach huts, swimming costumes,
windbreaks, deckchairs, buckets and spades, seaside rock and even donkeys followed.
“for the call of the running tide is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied”
Sea Fever is about the call of the sea to sail but whether you prefer a paddle with your trousers rolled up or skirts tucked in your knickers, to sit on a promenade watching the beach and passers-by with an ice cream or fish and chips or to stride along a coastal path, a daytrip to the sea is always a tonic.
Pull up a deckchair, breathe in the salty air, hear the cry of the gulls. Gaze at the sea with me.
I love the sea in all weathers and can’t choose between wild waves crashing onto a beach or flat calm on a hot day. Do you have a favourite beach to visit?
Sand or shingle, hours spent in rockpools with a net or combing the beach for shells to take home? We found a starfish left behind by the tide but our rescue bucket of water was not needed and we watched with joy as it crept with speed back to the sea.
Photographs show my grandparents on the beach at Skegness, my grandfather wearing his trilby hat, suit and tie. He looks hot, out of place but has removed his socks and shoes, there is sand between his toes, the hint of a smile on his face.
“Sand in the sandwiches, sand in the tea, flat wet sand running down to the sea”
from Seaside, Shirley Hughes
Years later my family and I are photographed on the same beach, squinting into the sun, sandcastles on display, swimsuits wet from a dip. Our clothes mark the passage of time but the sea is the sea, the sand is between our toes and there are smiles on our faces.
As you gaze out to sea, if you have online access you could also listen to the waves: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX5QXc7FcP8
More from Stephanie and the Elevate artists
During the spring and summer 2020 Stephanie Jalland recorded her monthly reflections, sharing the sights and sounds around her home in Downton. You can listen to all of Stephanie’s monthly recordings here.
Send us your contribution
We love to include some of your own reflections in future posts. Why not write a few lines, try a poem or send us picture on the general theme of seasons? Email to ArtCare or send to ArtCare, Block 29, Salisbury District Hospital, Salisbury SP2 8BJ.