A dozen places you can go to be alone. WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Sebastian A. Tan, Sunseeker boat owner
Christina Da Santa, B.B.C. reporter
Joe Carpenter, B.B.C. cameraman
Setting: Poole Marina and Poole Harbour
Joe: Which berth is it?
Christina: He just said look for the largest boat; we should recognise him from that photo in Dorset Life.
Joe: Yes, he looks very distinguished.
Christina: Pity more men his age don’t look after themselves so well.
Joe: (chuckling) Maybe you’ll be in with a chance, quite fancy him myself.
Christina: I’m very happy being single now, anyway, I thought you didn’t fancy older men.
Joe: Exception that proves the rule, he’s a gay icon apparently.
Christina: Oh, talk of the devil, there he is; what do you reckon Joe, straight or gay?
Joe: He looks all man to me!
Sebastian: (Calling out) Good afternoon, welcome to the ‘Hidden Depth’. Allow me, it’s tricky if you are not used to boats.
Christina: (flustered) This is Christina Da Santa at Poole Marina, on board Sunseekers’ newest and biggest boat. I’m here to interview Sandbank’s newest resident. Mr Sebastian A. Tan has agreed to an exclusive interview. Good afternoon Mr. Tan.
Sebastian: Please, call me Nick, all my friends do and I’m sure we shall be friends Miss, Ms, Mrs.? Da Santa.
Christina: Call me Christina, please; are you settling in, have you met the neighbours?
Nick: I love the area, but the neighbours are a little ‘standoffish’, that’s what you get with ‘new money’, no class.
Christina: Have you always loved boats?
Nick: Yes, I love the freedom, do you fancy a quick spin?
Christina: If Joe can hold the camera steady, I’m up for it.
Nick: I’m sure a strapping young man like Joe has a steady hand, he can film you in the wheelhouse.
Christina: (breathless) This is fantastic; if viewers fancy skimming over the waves at these speeds, a boat like this will cost you more than a house.
We’ve weighed anchor now, with a lovely view of Studland Beach; no other boats nearby, time to have an in depth chat with Seb… Nick.
What is your new house like?
Nick: Magnificent, worth every million.
Christina: So are you officially retired now?
Nick: I hope not, but business has been quiet; or rather business has been so good, my influence is hardly needed, I feel quite redundant; a feeling you will be familiar with soon!
Christina: (tersely) I wouldn’t believe what you read in the papers.
Nick: I sympathise entirely; if you think you feel discarded in your fifties, imagine what I feel like in my millions. Still, mustn’t grumble, it’s even worse for HIM. People these days just don’t believe in what he has to offer, don’t believe in HIM at all. Now my package, they have taken up whole heartedly, I should be pleased, but somehow I’m bored, no challenge.
Christina: Does this mean you are able to spend more time with your family?
Nick: (snorts) I’m no family man, over rated business; marriage wouldn’t suit my busy social life.
Christina: Would you describe yourself as a ‘Ladies’Man’?
Nick: (winks) Not just ladies, had a bit of an eye for the ‘Greek Gods’ in my time, still got an eye for young cameramen.
Christina: (taken aback) Well, we’re all open minded these days, would you describe yourself as bi-sexual?
Nick: (proudly) Omnisexual. My dear, I haven’t offered you a glass of wine; it should be nicely chilled by now, you’re looking a bit hot and flustered. I’ll go down below and fetch the glasses.
Joe: Wow, what do you think.
Christina: He has the most amazing piercing blue eyes!
Joe: He sends shivers down my spine.
Nick: Cheers, here’s to a successful documentary.
Christina: (embarrassed) It’s only a little slot in News South.
Nick: Surely I’m worth an hour, you are coming to film at my home as well, I assumed you were both coming to dinner.
Christina: Oh… er …this wine is divine.
Nick: Very good vintage.
Christina: We went so fast just now, we couldn’t film; Nick is just tying up at his private mooring. There’s a bit of drama going on, the lifeboat is just going out to rescue some teenagers in their kayaks, they weren’t prepared for the wake from our boat, Nick said they shouldn’t have been in that part of the harbour.
Here we are inside Nick’s beautiful home.
Nick: (chuckles) Yes, one would never guess that only a few months ago, all that was here was an old bungalow belonging to a couple of pensioners.
Christina: Do you like to cook?
Nick: I love hot food.
Christina: Viewers, I have to say, this is the most delicious food I have ever tasted; if only we had ‘teletaste’. No more wine for me or Joe, we are working.
Nick: (suavely) Perhaps it’s time you both went off duty.
Christina: Well… first tell the viewers what this fantastic recipe is, the meat is rather like pork.
Nick: Secret recipe my dear.
More fiendish and fun tales here…
To some a Staycation means not going abroad for their holiday, for others it means staying at home in the garden. With our bathroom being ripped out and hopefully replaced, we took the bus into town with our wheelie cases.
Friday evening we arrived in torrential rain, Saturday and Sunday saw heat waves and on our last night we watched the lightning from our balcony.
For writers and photographers, finding interesting places to stay is vital. We had five nights at an Art Deco hotel which I’m sure has seen better days, but makes a good Premiere Inn. We had a front balcony, only on the second floor, but still fun to look out at everything going on. Westover Road has also seen better days; now an interesting mix with art galleries, posh jewellers and pub at the other end, the lovely Pavilion across the road from abandoned Odeon cinemas and a YMCA hostel next to the hotel. Opposite us, coaches delivered endless day trippers.
After breakfast on the first morning we went up to the ninth floor and found a writer and photographer’s delight, the rear view; a riot of fire escapes with a little old house surrounded by layers of building developments. A walk up the road took us to the official opening of a newly pedestrianised area, Darth Vader and friends turned up collecting money for charity.
Down at the pier and the main beach, which you always see in newspaper pictures of seaside hot spots, was busy, busy, busy; beach parties with tables laden with food and very loud sound systems. A walk to the end of the pier brought a bit of peace and a good view of the zip wire which takes you back to the beach.
What did I learn from pretending to be a visitor? The homeless group that always seems to be there when I go to Bournemouth and get off the bus, IS always there; a double bed arrangement which stretches halfway across the pavement with several occupants near to our busy hotel. Of course they are not the only homeless; in a town full of happy holiday makers and lively young language students they are the spectre at the feast and Darth Vader isn’t the only one ignoring them. In the gardens there are buskers and a young man doing fire juggling with a sign ‘Homeless but Trying’. At the shops there are Big Issue sellers. I bought a Big Issue.
The Royal Bath Hotel nearby is a great place to stroll into. Sit and cool off inside the huge fascinating lounge or enjoy the sun in the gardens. You could stay all day, people watching, plug in your lap top etc. without anyone noticing. This hotel has also seen better days, as we discovered when we went there for dinner one evening to try the ‘special three course meal’ – no wonder it was so reasonable; we needn’t have worried about being smartly dressed, there were some very strange guests.
On our last day we went abroad on a cruise; bus to Poole Quay for a boat trip to the start of the Jurassic coast at Old Harry Rock and then to Swanage on The Isle of Purbeck, an hour’s trip. We disembarked at the restored Victorian Pier for five hours ashore. A short walk takes you through the pleasant seaside town to the station where you can see steam trains, take a ride to Corfe Castle or have a snack in the railway carriage cafe. A walk out to Peveril Point and we could stand on the cliffs and look back to Bournemouth.
For more Staycation pictures visit my website.
Have you been on a Staycation?