It is that time of year when Bournemouth council, or more accurately BCP Council now ( Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole ) tells us by how much our beach hut rent has gone up, with various explanations as to why. We were on the waiting list for six years and I guess most beach hut people will pay up rather than lose the six foot by six foot piece of concrete they rent. It’s best not to calculate the cost per minute of sitting in the sun, making a cup of tea or having your own private changing room. There are people who go every day, but most of us have other things to do, places to go and gardens looking accusingly at us. I had not visited since last year, though I have walked past to make sure it was still there. The council does not own our huts and how ever much we have paid, the hut is worth nothing if you can’t unlock it. Weather and salty air play havoc with padlocks, whether they have keys or a combination lock and pulling the shackle out can be as impossible as pulling Excalibur from the stone if you are not the future King Arthur.
Luckily I brought WD 40 from home. I have never known what WD 40 is actually made of, but I love the scent and apparently WD and duct tape are all you need to solve most DIY problems. There is a can of WD 40 in the beach hut, but that is not much use if you can’t get in… I used a lot of WD 40 and had to resort to going away to wash half a can of it off my hands then sneaking back, when the second padlock wasn’t looking, to open it.
When you walk down here it feels like being on holiday.
When you see your patch of sea you know it was worth the money and the struggles with the padlocks.
As the padlocks soak up WD 40 and you soak up the winter sun and eat your sandwiches you know it was worth it.
Then after two bites of your sandwich the weather changes, your tea gets cold and you wonder if your friends will regret saying they would ‘pop in’ for a cup of tea. This is why you keep blankets at the beach hut…
…but the sun will probably come out again before it goes down.