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There Was A Drum roll, followed by some talking, from the theatre. The gardener’s hut was built, on the remaining space, before the precipitous cliffs took over. The theatre, seated three hundred and was at the end of the Downs. It provided entertainment through the summer. The performers, not well known, but sought to find an enthusiastic audience, from the tourists, staying nearby.
The hut, was like a base camp, where the day started and ended. Dan’s ticket machine, the flapped leather shoulder bag for coins, notes, spare ticket rolls and the takings book, were kept in a cupboard, on the back wall. Takings,were listed for the day, and handed in with the cash, at either the theatre or the ticket office.
A selection, of rakes, hoes, spades, forks and half-moon shaped turf cutters, were held. by pairs of nails, which when removed , left a dark impression, on the wood, due to the sun bleaching the surrounding wood varnish.
Knowing, that I might return here, I’d left, pencils, coloured chalks, a box of charcoal, sketch pads, A6, up to, A3, plus a folding easel stand at the back of the cupboard.
My deck chair, attending day, ended at five thirty. There was still, a good light, and the idea, was to perhaps, catch, a few theatre goers, who’d arrived early. I was chatting to Dan, in the morning, on the promenade. He’d chosen to visit the beach, on his day off.
‘Are you, that hard up Phil, that you have to work, after hours?’ He said.
For Dan, any activity, other than downing, a few tinnies or going to a Barbie, was interpreted, as work.
‘I find it relaxing, and people, are happy, when they’re on holiday. They don’t expect a Michaelangelo standard piece of work. It’s not easy to explain, but it gives me space to unwind.
This took place, when we were standing, on the promenade, earlier. I wasn’t sure Dan was convinced, by my argument, but it was then that Dan dropped a bombshell, about the beach party, Saturday week, when he said,
‘I’ve got a Barbie together, for the beach party, on Thanet Island. I’m seeing if Ingrid can help out, with paper cups and plates. That’s why I’m down here, today,’ he said.
‘Thanet Island?’ I exclaimed. This was a craggy lump of rock, several hundred yards, out to sea.
‘Yep Phil – didn’t I say, the beach party’s on the island. It’s got a sandy beach, around the back. Just the ticket, for a party. When the tides out, that is. Malk’s letting us have Sea Spray, to get out there.’
‘You, didn’t tell me.’
‘Well, you know now, so that’s okay.’ It wasn’t okay, because Meila, must have presumed, the party, was on Batcombe. Now, I would need to do some explaining.
What, if she couldn’t swim or was scared of boats? It was Sunday and somehow Dan had wangled the day off. I was now his regular stand in, on the Downs, so I would be able to see her. In one sense, I couldn’t have asked for a better arrangement. In particular, only the day after, and I would be able to see Meila or as I needed to remember – that she was Pamela, in the outside world.
Tuesday and Fridays, were often, delivery days, for the cool boxes. The weeked, was a busy time for cream teas. Sea View, prepared baked trays of apple pie, for delivery to the cafe on the Downs. Their Spanish chef, liked to deliver these personally to the cafe owner. After the first day, visitors tended to have put aside, the right money. Today, for obvious reasons, I’d decided to visit , the hotel, for one and fifty pence coins.The other option was dropping in on Mrs Brown, at the Red and White Rose cafe, half way along, on the other side of the Downs road.
“The receptionist, at the Sea View, will give you coins usually, but they don’t like riff raff like us, in the foyer, during mornings.” Those were Dan’s words, about getting change for the cash satchel. Takings, were in a zip leather wallet, but a twenty five pound float was held back, for the following day. It needed to contain, ten, fifty. and twenty pence coins, with a smattering of smaller ones.
My mind, wandered through about what I’d say to Meila, that afternoon and whether, she’d still want to go to the beach party. I was tellling myself, if Meila didn’t want to go to the beach party, neither would I.
I normally went to the cafe and chatted with Mrs Brown. Listened to how her daughter, was struggling, in the world of work and how much her horse cost to feed. She, recruited us as ambassadors.
‘Do tell them, about the cafe. There’s a charge, for the tray of two pounds. It’s refundable. There’s a cafe room upstairs – tell them. Just because it’s full downstairs, when it’s raining – I’ve still got room.’ She made her cafe sound like a bomb shelter, from attacks, by the enemy. The enemy, being the rain. Although, she was proud, that her mother’s tea house, in the East End, was the only one that stayed open, during the London Blitz.
Word Press will not allow further chapters to be published. Please visit at URL amazon.com/author/grantsam
Dancing on the Beach. Romantic thriller. Most popular read on Kindle Promotekdbook.com in 2016 and again in 2018. Author decided to publish chapter sequence for his second novel, whilst following – authors assiting authors site. An adaptation of Persuasion’s Price to a stage play is now past first draft preliminary stage, into stage and actor direction text. URL amazon.com/author/grantsam
Front cover display to paper back edition.
Chapter 12 follows display photo.
‘Speciality Chips, Whoever Heard of such a thing?’
‘They’re just chips dropped in cheese butter mix. How ridiculous,’ said Rita, Pamela’s mother
‘They batter, Mars bars and creme eggs, if you ask.’
‘I do hope you’ve not been eating them. Pamela.’
‘I might,’ she said. Pamela, liked to confound her mother’s aspirations.
Rita’s, first name in Hong Kong, was Ling, but where Pamela, liked close friends to call her Meila, Rita, never wanted to keep the name Ling. She was Rita Tompkins, a dress designer, in a Hong Kong department store, when Alex, first asked her out. She was Rita, to her customers and senior management, even then.
The corner restaurant, below the flat did, “take away food.” Not Rita’s idea, of good living, but she felt was useful, as a hideaway. It was far removed, from their apartment, in Picadilly. The entrance, down an alley, at the back of the restaurant. Removal of the gate, meant ,there was no number, to show the flat existed. Deliveries were taken in by the restaurant, when open. The restaurant owner, let the flat ,after an online enquiry, by Rita.
The small back bedroom, had been turned into a kitchen, next to the former main bedroom, now the lounge. A corridor led to Rita’s bedroom and a second smaller one, further down, which Pamela occupied.
Pamela, sat on the settee, in a pink bathrobe, after showering. She’d attended to all messages, on her iPad. She picked up the hand mirror, from the floor, and placed it on the coffee table. The circular mirror, rotated to the side with magnification. This, allowed for better inspection of freckles, that needed to be hidden from public gaze. Her mother walked in, from the kitchen and placed a tray next to the coffee percolator.
‘Did you have a nice night Pamela? Was he worth all the preparation?’
‘How do you know, I went out with a boy last night? What if I said I went out with Olga, the waitress.’
‘Then you’d be lying. No woman, spends time with her hair, like you did last night, unless of course you have a feminist girlfriend.’
‘No mother, feminists don’t necessarily sleep with other women.’ Pamela stopped talking, to extricate, the hair brush from the tangle, in her hair.
‘You’re just fishing. He’s sweet and friendly and I think a bit lonely.’
‘He’s not from around here. Like you then?’
‘Perhaps.’ Pamela felt a warm glow, remembering, the night before.
‘He works on the beach, as an attendant. I first saw him on the Downs from the hotel window.’
‘ A beach bum Pamela. Just, a beach bum – and you went out with him! He’ll not be able to keep you in a nice house and support family.’ Unlike Pamela, who grew up in England, Rita’s english, could lapse, when she became excited.
‘How can you say that, mother?’
‘Here’s a coffee and you should eat something.’ Her mother, placed a breakfast sized cup of coffee, on the table, next to the settee.
‘We’re working, for the Summer. He’s like me, taking a rest from serious work,’ Pamela said, while dabbing cream, on two newly discovered, cheek freckles.
‘Money’s not everything.’
‘It’s important to live well, though – your father has bought a farm, out on Batcombe Moor. It’s not in his name. It has backing, from a charity, that gives, not so well children horse riding and farm experience.
‘Really? I don’t see, father as a farmer.’
‘He’ll be – he says, off grid. Now, your father has a property and share in that night club – not just a Range Rover, full of gold bars.’,
‘You could be a celebrity, in the community. There can’t be many Asian farmer’s wives about.’
‘No, that’s not the intention. It’s intended, as a smoke screen, I’m still trying to find a shop for a dress boutique – and you can help me look, Pamela.’
‘I may help you look, but I’m not standing in your shop, all day!’
‘You need to be occupied. Your father, only wants, you to be at the hotel, for the summer and then what will you do?’ Pamela popped bread, in the toaster and sat down, again, to continue, getting her face and hair ready for work. This included, a close inspection, of the extent of eyebrow growth, which Pamela referred to as her eye brow moustaches.
‘You say that, as if I have no qualifacations and will be lucky, if someone employs me outside the family.This is temporary and I said to father, that I would help out. When, I go to the Blue Comet, they just think I’m the girl, who works, at the hotel.’
‘It is better that way. To be like others, is how your father keeps safe.’
The cruise ships, will soon be finished and then it will be quiet and safer, for us all.’
‘And you are going to live on the farm?’
‘No, I will live where my boutique is. Your father knows this. The farm will be managed by the charity.’ An electronic bell like beep, came from Pamela’s iPad.
‘Is that the time?’ Pamela, picked up her coffee, and went to her bedroom, leaving the door open. The toast popped.
‘What are you having, on this toast Pamela?’ Called out her mother.
‘Peanut butter, thinly spread with strawberry jam – and cut into squares,’ said Pamela.
‘Yes, my lady – ugh! I can’t understand how you can eat such rubbish.’ Pamela chose not to hear. Rita, prepared the plate of toast, and took it in, to Pamela’s bedroom, placing it next to the coffee, on the bedside table. Pamela, having removed her dressing gown, was standing, in front of the wardrobe mirror, in bra and briefs, inspecting her nearly flat stomach..
‘There’s nothing there, Pamela.’
‘I’ll be the judge of that,’ she said, having already decided on eating, only one square of peanut butter, and jam toast.
‘I’m going to a beach party, mother, next Saturday week.’
‘With that same young man?’
‘No, the man, in the Moon.’
‘It is perhaps not so bad, getting to know, someone from the beach. What did you say his name was?’ Her mother, partly opened the bedroom window, to let in more light – before sitting, on Pamela’s bed. Pamela, removed from the wardrobe, a short – sleeved, halter necked blue dress, with a black velvet bow.
‘I didn’t.’ she said, holding the dress, against her. Phill-ip, she condidered, would probably, prefer to see her in a revaling dress, rather than something more formal, when he visited, Sea View. She would wear, the dress today, Sunday and then again, on Tuesday, when he visited the reception desk, to have the invoice stamped.
‘Phil-ip,’ she said, as much to please herself, with speaking his name, than to inform, her mother.
‘This, is not, a bad name,’ Rita said, without giving it much attention.
‘Your father, pays that inspector, very well, to make sure, the cool boxes are delivered safely, and not tampered with.’
‘He knows what’s in them then?’ Asked Pamela.
‘No, of course not. He believes, they contain, mainly dairy product but some duty free. Cigarettes, whisky and gin. That is the secret. Cocaine, and some knew chemical drugs, are being brought ashore, but no duty free. It is funny how, smuggled duty free, is something, that many people, see as all right.’
Pamela, twirled, in front of the mirror, to gauge whether the dress settled, to where she wanted it, on her legs.
‘Phil-ip, delivers these boxes from the beach. That, is how I met him.’
‘Be careful, Pamela, your father, may not like, this to continue, as a friendship, for you. He may think, he will discover who you really are.’ Pamela, did not mention, that she’d told Phillip her birth name, knowing her mother, would definitely not like that.
‘I’m never going to talk, about father, or about the business – do you think I’m stupid.?’
‘No. But you like this boy -no?’
‘Like, because he is friendly and interesting. I need to be with my generation.It doesn’t mean, that it may go any further, than just friendship.’ It had, but Meila, chose not to tell her mother.
‘He’s, an artist and was getting paid, to sketch visitors , walking to and from the beach, but now the path is blocked, by fallen rocks. You see, he is resourceful, mother.’
‘An artist. He probably wants to sketch you in the nude. To get you undressed, and make love, in the name of art. You, with a good degree – and then I have daughter, who only wants to sell her body.’
‘You shouldn’t give me ideas like that mother. I’ve only been out with him, once.’
Her mother got up and went back to the sitting room, to switch on the radio.
‘What did you say mother?’ Rita, raised her voice, over the local traffic news.
‘You need to,hurry up or you’ll be late for work.’
Chapter 13 – Phillip Norton’s, first meeting with Maria.
‘You say you’re going to get a flat. I feel like some school girl, getting off, behind the bike shed,’ said Julie.
‘Another fortnight, and one will be available. We can meet on my day off. Mary, goes to her mother’s in the afternoon, it’s all coming together Jules.’
‘Promises, promises. Terry’s going away, on a conference at the end of August. The flat needs to be sorted by then.’
‘I’m working towards that. Aunt Grace’s estate, is still to be wound up, by the solicitor, but he can make an interim payment. It’ll be enough for a flat. She had property in Spain, but it’s taken a while to sell.’
‘I’ve heard all this before.’
‘It’s true. You seem to think – I’m not as keen as you to get together, pemanently.’
‘You’ve not told Mary?’
‘What’s the point. She’s best kept in the dark. She’ll cause a fuss. I’d rather, that, came at the end of the season.’
‘I don’t know how Terry will react, but then I’m not bothered,’ said Julie. He’ll not know that he talks about his new PA in his sleep. That sex has all become an act, on his part. Even, having sex now, every Saturday.’
‘I just hope, I don’t talk about you when I ‘m asleep,’ said Bill.
‘You don’t have dreams about us together then?’
‘If I do, I don’t remember them afterwards. I do my dreaming about you, all day, Julie.’
‘Then dream about having a flat, and not just rendezvouing, in the ticket office then.’
‘Look, over there – there’s Dan from the beach,’ said Julie. A young couple, stood at the bar.
‘There’re so sweet. Look, at the way, she’s looking at him. I remember, that feeling – being, with the best looking guy, in the room, when I was about eighteen.’ The girl flicked her head back and smiled.
‘Yes, sweetheart, you’ve got the best catch in the room.’
‘You’re not after a toy boy, are you Jules?’
‘Don’t be daft Bill, he’d be more interested, in my bank account, and what it can buy, than anything else. No, she believes she’s got the goods. At her age, I’d have been the same. You go after a man to show off with, and Dan, fits the bill.’
‘And, there was I thinking, that’s exactly what a man does when he goes after a girl,’ said Bill. Dan caught sight of the two of them, sat in the corner, of the bar, and waved. Julie, waved back and smiled. Bill, lifted his glass, a couple of times, in recognition of Dan’s catch, while the fair haired girl was pretending, not to notice them.
‘I’ve got these, from the estate agents,’ Julie produced a sheaf of property brochures, from her beach bag.
‘You’re previous with those,’ said Bill. ‘Anyway, it’s better to look, at estate agents websites, these days, The information’s likely to be more up to date. I’ve got somewhere in mind.’
‘I don’t want you making decisions , on your own,’ said julie.
‘Look, this one’s got a balcony and a shared garden,’ Julie pointed, at a white block, with palm trees, in the front, with an additional view, of the sweep, of the road, along the front.
‘I’d like to look, at that one. We could go and look, on your day off.
‘Can’t. This week, I’ve got appointment, with John, at the Sea View. He wants to up the delivery, of dairy products, from the ferry, for next month.
‘And, you’re going, on your day off?’
‘We can meet up afterwards’ – Bill, taking, a long drink, from his beer mug, before continuing with,
‘I asked Phil, that new attendant, if he’d sketch me, holding Biggles.
‘That dog’s totally spoilt. You’re not having him sketching you, in the ticket offfice?’
‘I might. I’ve a;ways fancied, being an artist’s model. Getting paid for having a man, looking at you, from behind an easel, is preferable, to being gawped at, as a sort of unpaid sex object.’
‘You know, I’m not like that,’ said Bill, moving closer, to Julie, in the window seat, and placing his arm, around, her shoulder, to gently caress her cheek and neck. Julie, turned towards him.
‘I never said, you were, did I?’
Chapter 12 – to follow: Rita, with daughter – Pamela.
Author, draws partly, on practical experience, in descriptive narrative, for beach resort and activity – derived from two season deck chair attendant, while on study, for A levels. Previously, merchant navy deck officer, with Houlder |Brothers, group of companies. Author, served aboard ships, on South American and world trade route destinations.
Sam Grant, Author.
Poems with themed notes – Sam Grant.
Clematis – I wait for you.
Red berries of the holly tree
scrunched by passing birds
after the mistletoe has gone;
while the skies of winter
maraud my view
I wait for you.
to break open that
white starred petal that may
compete with snow.
But I wait for you;
to move forward
spring burst of show.
You are not tempted
by lenghtening days
to open every bud, but
in gradual stage
entice the early bee to view.
New growth shoots
above your forming
crown of white.
The days are cold;
but I wait for you.
To move forward
spring burst of show.
You are not tempted
by lenghtening days
to open every bud, but
in gradual stages you
entice the bee to view.
New growth shoots
above your forming
crown of white.
warmth of spring to bring
An exotism of scent
develop[ed in ancient vine
Clasping an Asian landscape
now entwined with
a new land preparing for
full flower in spring.
Part from themed note extract – Sam Grant 2016
–The Clematis is an exotic plant and to see it flowering, is a beautiful experience. This is not to decry the inherent beauty of flowers like the daffodil and primrose. A white winter flowering Clematis can often, almost totally capture stage presence in January or February ( later this year, 2021), where native blossom is still wrapped up in buds, to protect itself from frosts.
ISBN 978-1-78222-464-8 £6.99
Matte cover edition
I Parked The Astra outside my flat, but decided not to, tell Pamela I lived there. Yes, I was embarrased, about the state of it, and decided it needed tidying up, before, I asked her back. It was the next date, that focused my attention. There’d been, a maybe to, the beach party, before, the Blue Comet night club, was suggested. Attraction, from the boy meets girl and likes what he sees, to the boy, wants to meet girl again, because she’s even more attractive, then imaginary construct, pre- going out. I was now tangled in hopeful anticipation, that she would say yes, to another date.
Meila, wasn’t everyday for me. I knew this, when I first went to the reception desk, with the invoice, to authorize. Pleased, with myself, for getting up courage, to ask her out. The waitress, on the Downs, and the Salvation Army girl, would still be there. Arrogance, slipped into the equation. I pretended, to myself, that, meeting Meila, was just a holiday happening, but I knew really this wasn’t true. She stopped walking, and – put a hand, against the wall and kicked off her shoes – grabbed them by the straps and walked barefoot, along the path, leading back to the Downs.
‘That’s better. It’ll break my feet in, for walking, barefoot, at the beach party,’ she said. That remark, went through my body, like a warm embrace. I reached, to touch her arm. She turned, and smiled. We held hands. It was a faster pace than before. Pamela’s feet, sprung from the path like a trained dancer’s. My concerns, about a future date, evaporating. Spirits lifted, by her remark, about the beach party.
The Blue Comet, was three doors down, from the Sea View. Set back form the road , with pillars supporting, jagged white chains, above a gravelled forecourt. A wooden, canopied veranda, for serving teas and coffees. Sun brollies, furled. Backs, of chairs, pulled up against the tables, for the night. Electrified writing – Blue Comet – on the wall above, flickering, on and off.
‘I like the way, you say my name,’ I said, as Pamela stopped, outside, to put on her shoes. She placed, a hand on my shoulder.
‘But, it’s your name – Phil-ip, she said.
‘Yes, but not everyone, says it that way. They usually call me Phil.’
‘Don’t you think, it’s okay, to be Phil-ip,’ she said, giving a disappointed look, letting go of my hand.
‘No, no, quite the opposite, I like it,’ I said.
‘But, I like your name Meila.’
‘Yes, both names-they’re both you, to me,’ I said. But Meila’s the name, you like the most, and so do I.’
I wanted, to kiss, in the car park, but it was noisy, with car doors slamming. We stepped, across the veranda, but Meila, stopped and turned.. Her hand reached, to my shoulder and she kissed my cheek, in the fading light. My hands encirceled her waist and she wrapped her arms, around me. The unbuttoned cardigan, meant Meila’s firm breasts, rested against me. Neither, of us sought to advance the kiss, into a French kiss. It must have been, about five seconds, that we held each other, but it was over, too quickly, for me. Pent up feelings, of attraction met. Meila, drew away and held my hands before saying.
‘We’d better go inside, Phil-ip don’t you think?’
‘Okay, I said and we smiled, at each other. After leaving the Mill Farm pub, I wasn’t sure, how it was going, but that feeling of uncertainty,was replaced by one of happy acceptance, now that we’d kissed and held each other. We were no longer, trying to read, how we felt about each other. We entwined arms and walked, towards the double door entrance. One, was open. A door man, in a dark suit, and white gloves, opened the other.
‘Good evening, Miss Evans. You are accepting our invitation, to visit.’
‘Yes, I’ve brought my boyfried, if that’s alright?’ I was Meila’s boyfroend. Did.I realy hear that said!
‘That’s perfectly alright, you are both welcome.’
There was a wide hall entrance and a stairway, at the back, with rooms leading off. I discovered later, that the Blue Comet, night club was a conversion, from a hotel. Ground floor, given over, to a selection, of bars, but the main dining area, and guest room . knocked through to form a dance floor.
‘How do you get in free?’ I asked, as Pamela, handed over her cardigan, at the cloak room.
‘The pastry chef, at Sea View, supplies, cakes and pies, for the cafeteria , in the day time. I have to take the cheque payment, every Friday and give a receipt. They say, I can come in the evening, for free, anytime I want.’ I knew, they let girls, in free, to boost, the appeal, of a club. I wasn’t that surprised.
‘I asked, if I could bring a friend. I would never come on my own,’ she said, taking the ticket, as the girl, safety- pinned the duplicate to the cardigan.
‘You’re, a frequent visitor then,’ I said.
‘No, not frequent. Olga, has been here with me. You, are the first boy,’
‘And, who’s Olga?’
‘A waitress, at the hotel. Why do you ask?’
‘Just, curious, that’s all.’
A bass guitar strummed. The sound, came from the doors, on the left, which opened as a couple came out, releasing a babble of voices, from within.
‘I like the Oyster Bar,’ said Pamela, as I followed her across, to the far side. Through an entrance, with the door removed, to open up a view of the bar inside. The bar man, in a white coat, put down the silver cocktail shaker and greeted Pamela, as we entered.
‘Buenos noches, senorita, Pamela. It is good to see you here. And, you are not working. That is tres bueno.’
‘Hello Pedro,’ said Pamela. What’s that?’
‘You like cocktail. Pedro, is mixing a Spanish Pampero. It is a new one, I make. It has a fiery temperament.’
‘No, that’ll give me a headache. I’ll stick with a pineapple squash,’ thanks.’
‘And, your friend?’ Pedro, turned to me, but I sensed that he would have preferred to have had Pamela, to himself; although it must have been apparent, that we were very much together. There was, a tall refrigerater behind, with various beers and lagers.
‘I’ll have a lager Pedro,’ I said. He turned away to prepare the drinks.
‘You like it?’
‘It is cosy, in here.’
‘I prefer it, to the larger bars.’
‘You’re definitely the pearl, in the Oyster Bar, then,’ I said.
‘You say that. Perhaps, you really mean it?’ She smiled. Her face flushed, probably like mine, after the embrace and kiss, on the veranda.
‘I. wouldn’t’ – I was interupted by Pedro, speaking.
‘You, are not here to collect money, for the hotel. – I have to charge you,’ said Pedro, turning, to break off, the cap from the lager bottle, under the bar.
‘That’s alright, I’ll pay,’ I said. Pedro, moved away, to get ice, for the squash.
‘No. this time, I pay Phil-ip. You’re working, in a holiday job. I’d like to buy a drink, for the chauffeur,’ she said, smiling at me. Pedro, heard the mention, of the word, chauffeur, but evidently, not that we both worked in a holiday job.
‘You are, a special person tonight, with a chauffeur, senorita Pamela, then,’ he said.
‘Yes, I am.’ Pedro, took the word chauffeur literally, when it was just a remark, you make, when someone, does the driving on a night out.
When, we left the bar, she said,
‘Let’s go over there. As far away from here, as possible. Pedro, gives me the creeps. He smiles, all the time, but his eyes are cold and lifeless.’
‘He seems friendly enough,’ I said. Too friendly, but I never said that to Meila.
‘I have to start work, at eight thirty, tomorrow. You don’t mind, if we have just the one drink.’
‘No, that’s okay, The beach party, next Friday – shall I meet you again, at the hotel?’
‘Yes, but who else, will be there?’ When Meila spoke, her lips were even more inviting, now that we’d kissed.
‘People like me who work, on the beach, mainly,’ I said. Ice, clinked in the glass, as she took, a sip.
‘That’s okay. But it’s girls, not just your friend from work?’
I do have friends, who are girls.’
‘But not a girlfriend, that I share with?’
‘No, of course not,’ I said.
We left, after half an hour. That Meila, wanted to have an early night, worked out okay.
It avoided her meeting up with my dilapidated flat, which I decided, at the moment, should remain, in the background. Girls, I’d discovered, were a bit fastidious, about the spec of flats. Mine, was definitely, low spec. Meila, collected her cardigan, from the cloak room and we went out into the warm night air.
‘We don’t live far from here,’ she said. There were a few couples on the Downs, but no one nearby. We stopped walking.
‘It’s been a nice evening together,’ she said. I moved forward, and held her waist.
‘It’s been great Meila – I mean going out with you.’ We kissed and she said,
‘Look forward, to seeing you, Phil-ip, when you visit the hotel. And, I’m looking forward to the beach party, on Friday, next week.’
‘See, you at reception, then.’
‘Oh, yes,’ she said. ‘I may never wear these shoes again.’ and bent her knee, to remove, first one shoe, then the other. They sparkled, under the street lamp.
‘I’ll let you know more about the party, then.’
Melia, waved, while, in bare feet, carrying shoes and handbag.
Dancing on the Beach by Sam Grant.
Back cover description. URL amazon.com/author/grantsam
Chapter 11 – Bill, the beach inspector, with Julie, from the kiosk – discussing their future.
Dreams, experienced, while asleep at night, are, of course individual, but can have similar themes, in background. We read, about these dream recalls and, author, probably like others, can relate to them. Childhood memories, perhaps more than adult? That – falling from a height? Inabilty or difficulty with running/walking, away from a situation in a dream like state. Understandably, while lay in bed asleep? Change of environment/place within a dream. In childhood, where catching a bus to school, was everyday, at a young age; there existed, that dream/nightmare of running for a bus, with dawning, realization of nakedness. Maybe, a child’s meeting with unpreparedness, played out in dream form? Embarrasment, in situations, the dreamer is powerless to alter.
These, and other similar themes, documented, for social scientists and followers of Freud etc… to interpret, and give reply to the question why? We, are observers and receivers, more than activists in dreams. Some, will dispute this and claim that their dreams are very active! But former, conscious daytime presence, in dream self, lacks, that wakefullness; aptitude, control over experience, when pitched into dream land. Victims of circumstances, that kaleidescope before us. In childhood, author’s memory is that, with nightmare dream intrusion, an effort was made to become awake. This, was always achieved, but the dream, could still be active, afterwards, with eyes wide open. As if, a separate pair of eyes, from a dream region remains. In adult life, this continued, dream view, while awake, was experienced, in 1986. Dream, concerned rose petals in red, pink and white falling. On waking, from dream, these petals fell, from ceiling to floor, in snow flurry density, even when author walked across the bedroom. Later, that day; second eldest sister; informed him; mother, had died.
Dream experiences, that appear irrational and uncontrollable, even though we can make attempts to have control. Personal experience, is that, editing does occur, in that, a dream can move location, quite rapidly. People, who you have known, rather than only those you meet day by day, become part of the cast. Thirty years of employment, with Royal Mail, plus ten years sea life experience, has it seems allowed, interspersion, of people in different location – dream wise, for this author.
There can be dream recall, that gives a feeling, that a producer director, has focused, on working life. With, retell – re-evaluation. A modified version, of day time activity. Happy events, but also anxious moments, which are of concern in wakened life, in early witness and experience. Author recalls childhood dream experience in Mists of Time in a short story – Witch in the Village
It is, perhaps speculative, but an experience, of being left in a shop, as a child, could have played out in later life. The author, then aged five, walked home, through the high street and up to the family home, some distance away.
Work life experiences, inevitably grain to memory. Pre- sea training, and later sea life experience, meant that, it did seem that author’s person/ identity, from previous sea life, remained beneath surface. It was re-assuring, when another former naval officer – then a civilian tutor – in communication skill, identified with the author’s – ‘ relived sea role identity. ‘ Author, happened to mention, communications tutor, that when he dreamt, in role of retail manger – author was not not, in a suit, but wore a naval officer’s uniform, with gold braid etc…but managing a retail store?? Tutor, replied with -‘tell me about it!’ He had experienced, this same retention of occupation, with sleep dream time,, although day to day, in civilian role.
It does appear, that we can make alterations, that re-identify, life’s work pattern. That there’s, a Blackpool Rock type permentation, where memory, can choose to remain threaded with. Not sure, that analogy quite works here?
A recent dream memory had a mix of ingredients. Mention was made of need for a radio aerial to be re-connected to the roof of a van. Asleep, in later dream, author was chatting with a former colleague from Royal Mail, and for some reason had to break away to visit a hotel kitchen (author had experience of hotel kitchen work, after sea life experience). The door from the hotel kitchen, led outside to a jetty, with a patrol boat. An aerial with a long line was passed over. Instructions, given, to take the aerial wire, across country. There were issues about how the wire must go through pipes? And, believe quite a large area was covered, including Wales, for some reason? Dream lost coherency, before waking, because, what was the point of spreading the wire around without the aerial? Pertinence, could be that, as an author, you are aerial – less, without reviews or comments about your writing?
‘Yeah,’ Came From The opposite end, where the darts match was in progress. I watched, as a slim, fair haired girl, in skin tight jeans, reached to take the dart out of double tops, before being lifted, into the air, by two of her team members. They caught her under the arms and she pumped her legs up and down. Dexterity, of the process, suggested the ritual was well practised. I looked back to see Meila, standing away from the wall seat, to see, what was happening. She was smiling and enjoying the spectacle.
A bar girl was serving, at the other end, while I watched the darts. I didn’t mind Meila, reminding me about, not to drink and drive. Flattered that she showed concern for me. There’s always this ambiguous play, where the man seeks to please. The woman interested, but then, you’re still, on approval, like a set of stamps, from Stanley Gibbons, that can be returned, and forgotten about. We’d chatted at the hotel-but it was after all, only a first date! I walked across to the bar, once the bar girl, finished serving, at the other end.
‘Crisps, get some crisps, Phil-ip, I’ve not had anything to eat, since lunch.’ I was about to order drinks. The bar girl, with an intrigued look on her face. I answered Meila.
‘Why didn’t you say?’ We can probably eat here, Meila,’ I said., although, I wasn’t anticipating, forking out for a meal.
‘No, no, I don’t eat, in the evening, now. I have to make sure my bikini fits.’ She made as if to position the top, with her hands. My appreciative look, made her smile.
‘I have to stay, on my diet. Then. I’ll decide afterwards, if I’m suitable for bikini-ing, on the beach.’ There was no doubt, in my mind, on that score, if she dieted, or not.
‘I’ll have hot chilli flavour, if they have them or just plain,’ Meila, said. The bar girl, reached down, and produced a packet, of chilli crisps.
‘You’re wife’s in luck,’ she said. Our conversation, somehow implying, that we were married. I sort of mumbled, a reply. What do you say? That we weren’t married. That this was a first date?
‘Great,’ I said. ‘ A coke, with lemon, and a half of Batcombe bitter, ae well , please.
‘Will your wife, be wanting ice?’
‘Yes, and the young woman, with me, is not my wife.’
‘Sorry, I got that wrong, then. There I was thinking, you’d be wanting a room.’ Her eyes, gave out, a forward meaning, appreciation, which I could have done without, as the coke frothed, into the glass from the tap. She moved away. but cheekily looked back and said –
‘Perhaps, you will?’ In her late twenties, and not unattractive. She, didn’t wait for an answer, but smiled, digging the tongs, into an ice bucket, obviously amused, at her own narrative, regarding my relationship, with Meila.
The noise from the darts match, hopefully, meant that, Meila couldn’t hear, and the teams were already drifting over to my side of the bar.
‘You’re driving the minibus Jack.’ A tall, ginger bearded lad, in a rugby shirt called out. I’ll get you a soft drink, seeing as you’re on the wagon, tonight.’
‘Yes, Jack’s not to drink,’ the fair haired girl, called out.
‘Jack’s not to drink , Jack’s not to drink,’ they chorused.
‘All right, all right, I get the message,’ said Jack, standing at the back.
‘That’ll be three fifty,’ said the girl, placing the crisps and drinks , on a tin tray. I extricated myself from the crowd, glad that I’d been ahead of the darts teams.
‘That’s, something I’d like,’said Meila, ‘to be, in a darts team.’
‘Do you mean that?’ I said placing, the tray, on the table, and passing over the crisps and Coke.
‘They had a darts team at uni, but it was all boys. I would prefer there to be a mix, but more boys than girls,’ she said, smiling mischievously. The two teams, in the pub met her criteria. Two girls and the fair haired one, in what looked like two teams, of six players. I took a sip of my beer.
‘So, what are you doing here?’ I asked, making converstaion.
‘Because, you brought me Phill-ip,’ she replied, with a serious face, before laughing. I’m sure she knew what I meant.
‘I mean working at Sea View.’
‘My father’s travelling, in business. My mother said, living in the City, was too much like Hong Kong, with the air pollution and moved to the seaside, for the fresh air.
‘You mean London?’ I said.
‘A man who is tired of London, is tired of life,’ – I quoted Samuel Johnson’s, famous observation.
‘But, my mother, is not a man though,’ said Pamela -‘and this is not the eighteenth century.’
‘True,’ Meila, scored a win for women. ‘Where were you at uni?’
‘Bristol,’ she said. ‘I got a 2.1. I read Economics with History.’
‘And you have a student type job.’
‘You know how long it takes waiting to be called for interview, and then my mother was moving. I didn’t want to work, in a city office, any longer,’she shrugged her shoulders – ‘or do home type work and not see anyone. Mother, is opening a boutique. I might even help her run it, if things get desperate.’
‘You could get, a well paid job, in the public sector,’ I suggested.
‘Maybe, but it’s the summer and I’m liking the rest, preparing for job interviews, and the pretence that you’re really interested in a company,that you researched on the internet, a couple of weeks ago.’ Well defined eyebrows and dark brown eyes, looked captivstingly over the Coke glass, as she sipped it.
‘Maybe, it’s the same , for you? Meila, continued. ‘You haven’t always been a painter … have you Phill-ip?’
‘No, but art, was my choice of course, at college. But I ended up working at a bank. I gave in my notice, in February. Just packed my belongings, in the Astra and moved down here.’
‘That was a very courageius thing to do.’
‘Do you, really think so. Courageous or foolish, depending, on how you look at it,’ I said.
‘I didn’t have a job to go to.’
‘But you were doing something you liked.’
‘I was – before, the rock fall – well, I still am. I enjoy working on the beach and the Downs, and I wouldn’t have met you at the Sea View. Her eyes fluttered, seemingly pleaed that I said that. A couple walked by and approached the table, next to the fireplace.
‘I’ll have a white wine, That’ll do Andy.’ The woman said, looking, to check her face, in a warming pan, on the wall, before sitting down. Her brusque manner suggesting, all was not well.
‘They’ve had a row,’ said Pamela.
‘How can you tell?’
‘The way she went to sit down, without looking at him, when she talked. They look, as if they’re trying to make up.’ I couldn’t se this, but as a man, perhaps I did not possess, Meila’s intuitive reasoning. I surprised myself, then, with my direct approach to planning another date, when I said,
‘They’re having a beach party on Saturday. Would you like to come?’ It seemed like an opportunity to get another date.
‘Maybe, will you be playing darts?’
‘No, but I could set up a dart board, on a tree or something,’ I said.
‘I was only joking,’ she replied, running her fingers, through her hair.
‘Perhaps, we could return to the Downs,’ she suggested. For one perilpous moment, I thought, my date with Meila, was unravelling.
‘Have you got an early start tomorrow? I mean – ‘
‘No , Phill-ip,’ she said, nodding her head from side to side, with a mischievous smile.
‘But there’s the Blue Comet. Do you know it?’
‘Yes, of course,’ I said. ‘ I know it. But I’m not a member.’
‘They’ll let me in, with you.’
‘Because, you’re a girl.’
‘Maybe,’ she said, casually.
‘Sounds okay to me. I can park nearby, and we’re in walking distance, of where we both live.’
‘Do you drink a lot then Phill-ip?’ She asked.
‘No, but it’s easy to go over the limit.’
‘You were here with that girl, from work.’ I caught the conversation, from the next table.
‘I saw you.’
‘You’ve been spying on me Angie,’ the man said.
‘I don’t want to listen in on that,’ I said to Meila. ‘Good time to leave.’
Phillip and Pamela (Meila) at the Blue Comet – Chapter 10.
Dancing on the Beach by Sam Grant. A romantic thriller from Sam Grant, which was most popular read on promotekdbookecom – after release.
Novels and Kindle previews are available at – URL amazon.com/author/grantsam
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Romantic thriller: Author brings vividly to life, seaside holiday atmosphere. He draws on life experience as a beach attendant, to authenticate, setting and everyday activity, whilst unfolds, for the reader sinister events, which are hidden within the outward appearance of everyday beach holiday atmosphere. Phillip Norton, head over heels in love; unaware of anything unusual, until arrival of Maria, who seeks to find out more. concerning, death of step brother Alfie, on the beach.
Display: front and back cover – Dancing on the Beach by Sam Grant.
A romantic thriller – set in a fictional south coast sea side resort
Second novel by Sam Grant, author.
At URL amazon.com/author/grantsam
I assumed Pamela Boarded at the hotel. Compensation for a lower wage, could be that you were given a room, with a bed. It might mean, sharing, but seaside holiday work, was an opportunity, to escape from city life, or study. My 2008, Vauxhall Astra, was parked outside the flat. Body work needed attention, but with sixty thousand, on the clock, it still ran well. Perhaps, bought subconsciously, with a view to changing my life path. There was no real need, for a car, when buses ran past the house in Grove Green, on the outskirts of London, but the Astra, became an escape vehicle from my former life.
I’d bought, a pasty and cake, from the cafe, on the Downs, which I washed down, with a mug of tea, before getting ready to go out. I decided on a blue jacket, casual shoes and a smart pair of jeans. I admit, I wanted to make an impression, that I’d made an effort, to tidy myself up.
The engine kicked into life, immediately. A positive omen. The fuel gauge, registered a quarter full. I was three streets down and drove to Victoria Avenue, adjacent to the hotel. I walked along the front and leant on the high wall, outside the hotel. It was seven o’clock. I caught sight of Pamela, walking towards me. She was wearing, a long woollen, cream coat cardigan, over a light summer dress – a blue and pink floral clasp, holding, her hair back, on the left side. I stepped away form the wall, and she smiled in recognition. I raised my hand, feigning casualness; although inwardly, thrilled to see her. Evening sun, ran along the path, and highlighted, her dress, flicking back and forth, as she quickened her pace.
‘Hi,’ I said. I expected you to come out of the hotel.’
‘I don’t live there. I share a flat, with my mother.’
‘Oh, right. I somehow imagined you lived in. That makes you local, then.’
‘No, not exactly, but where is the car Phil-ip?’
‘It’s around the corner.’
‘Not far then. That’s good. I like these shoes, very much, but not to walk in,’ she said, with a smile. I was sufficiently tuned – in, to how girls, prioritize , fashion, over comfort, with regard to choice of footwear – I didn’t query the logic, in wearing shoes, which were obviously painful.
We, walked along the path. Pamela, as if treading on hot coals, with heels of her red shoes, clipping the pavement.
‘You look great,’ I said. Your hair, looks really good. Different from when at work.’ I realized, after saying the word different, that, it was probably not, an ideal compliment.
‘Only different,’ she said. ‘I’ve made a special effort for tonight, I’d like you to know,’ she said, tossing back her hair, as if piqued, but then broke into a smile.
‘It’s easy, for a man. You’re not judged by your hair and clothes. No.You asked me Phil-ip, about being local. We moved, over a month ago. We are local and live here now, but – new local.
We turned, into Victoria Avenue.
Horse Chestnuts, were sending out suckers, which reached, across the path.
‘That car,’ she pointed. It was a convertible BMW, soft top.
‘No. ‘fraid not. That one,’ – I indicated, up ahead.
‘I like, that colour, for a car,’, she said, straightaway, as if to remedy, what might have come across, as a disappointment.
‘It, matches, my dress – see.’ Pamela, unbuttoned, a middle button on the cardigan, and opened it, in a similar way, to a fashion model, who reaches the end of a catwalk. Then, posed like a model, when turned toward me.
‘Don’t you think, Phil-ip? They’re a similar shade of green.’
‘Yes, they are,’ I said. My mind, absorbed, more with the figure, revealed, beneath the dress, than its colour.
‘Yes, that’s a coincidence,’ I said. Pamela, was standing, on the pavement, by the bonnet. The Astra, was best described, as, smudgy, emerald green. This merged, into green of hedge, and trees. Not, really, the best colour, for leafy country roads, in summer. Pamela, was, way more cultured, than most girls, that I might meet at the seaside, and I wanted to make a good impression. I now felt, that the car, was not so much an issue, after it got approval for matching, the colour of, Pamela’s mini dress. I pressed the key fob, and the locking mechanism clunked open. Her cable stitch cardigan, spread open, across each side, of the passenger seat, when she got in. I couldn’t help, but admire her legs. She smiled back, and clicked the seat belt into fasten, as I started, the engine.
I’d, already caught allure of scent, but she was not overly made up. A flicker of annoyance, crossed her face, and her eyes narrowed, before she spoke.
‘My father, says I lack the necessary confidence , to drive, but I passed the test first time.’
‘Good for you,’ I said and ‘What does your father do?’ I asked.
‘He’s in business, but isn’t here now,’ she replied.
‘What do you do, Phil-ip?’ She asked.’ I mean, you’ve not always been a deck chair attendant, have you?’ I turned right and approached the main road, away from the Downs.
‘I was a self – employed artist,’ I said, – but the cliff path got blocked with rocks.’
‘You really paint? She said, sounding impressed.
‘I try to, but I was just pencil sketching portraits.
‘Perhaps, you could draw me?’ She suggested, as I drove, along the front of the Downs.
‘I’d love to draw you,’ I replied. ‘It’s five pounds.’
‘You’d charge me then Phil-ip?’ She looked accusingly across. I smiled, before replying,
‘No, I’m only joking. I just do a pencil sketch to get a facial look. They’re usually quite happy, the visitors, that is. Sometimes, they just want their dog sketching.’
‘That’s clever, having a talent. like that. It’s very enterprising.’ I seemed to be finding favour, with Pamela.
‘I’ve something to tell you Phil-ip,’ she said, after a moments silence.
‘Your’re not married with seven children are you?’ I asked.
‘Don’t be silly, Phil-ip,’ she said and slapped my knee, more playfully, than with force.
‘I’m not married, or with anyone else. No, but my real name is Meila, not Pamela. I changed it to an English name, to make it easier here. I wanted to mention this. It’s my birth name, and I prefer it. It doesn’t matter, if you still want to call me Pamela, though,’ she looked appealingly, across.
‘It’s a lovely name – Meila. Why would anyone not like that name? How, are you Meila, it’s nice to meet you. I reached over, as if to make, an imaginary hand shake. We both laughed. The two names, did always intermingle in my mind, but it was at that moment, looking back, when I must’ve fallen more in love. It was perhaps, the appealing and trusting look she gave me. There was delight, in her eyes, when she could see, that I did really like the name Meila.
Within, half an hour, we arrived at the Mill House Farm Pub. The car wheels, scrunched, on newly laid gravel.
‘It’s really in the country,’ she said, as we got, out of the Astra. I felt things were going well.
‘It has a wheel – look,’she said, pointing, as we walked, on to the crazy paving area, which led up to what would have been the farm entrance. The wheel was stopped, and evening light caught on the moss. which clung to paddle blades. The wheel looked forlorn and neglected, with, sections missing, from boxes, which would have caught, the water. Virginia creeper, covered the front of the pub. I led the way, through a porch, which led to double doors and into a bar area. A babble of voices, came from the far right corner,where a darts match, was in progress. Meila’s face lit up.
‘This is a real pub,’ she said. ‘Not made just for tourists. Horse brasses, warming pans, pictures of mail coaches, on the walls and black oak beams, gave it that authentic pub look.
‘They’ll welcome tourists, all the same,’ I said. It was a farmhouse. It’s still got bags of character.’
‘It’s, really alive in here Phil-ip, isn’t it?’
‘You, like it then,’ I said.’ There’s a spare window seat.
‘Shall we sit there,’ I pointed across, toward it.
‘Yes, that’s fine,’ she said, removing, her long -sleeved cardigan and hanging it over, a chair, before sitting down, in the window seat.
‘I’d like a Coca Cola, with lemon and ice please, Phil-ip, and you should have a small drink, because you drive.’ She was already, straightening me out, without being asked. Dark eyes, flashed that determined look – followed through with that entrapping smile, attractive women, can zap you with, knowing, they’ll get their way.
Chapter 9 – to follow
Author has found – picture story teller ascribed to his show casing, of book covers. There’s nothing magical about choice. Author scans, many photo images, before he finds one, or several possibles, before final choice, with publishers advice and assistance. Photo development, into actual covers, is by Paragon Publishing, Rothersthorpe,
A red map image, of South America, was chosen, by the author, from several pages of possibles, for, action, mystery novel Atlantic Hijack. Author, visited Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Panama, Chile, and Mexico, while he served aboard Houlder Line vessels. Focus, on back cover, is for Montevideo. Uruguay. A, relatively small country, and unlike Argentina, author believes, was not that sympathetic, toward fascist regime in Germany, during Second World War. After, German battleship, Graf Spee, was scuttled in the basin of the River Plate; crew members – possibly stewards/ chefs? Were believed, still to be working, at Jousten Hotel, in Buenos Aires. Restaurant menus, in one city street, were printed in German, which suggested a strong contingent of escapees, from Second world war Germany, then occupied parts of the city, and surrounds, in the nineteen – sixties.
Second novel cover, for Sam Grant’s – Dancing on the Beach, romantic thriller, was chosen, from several photo pages, taken of a group of youngsters, who had a dog with them, playing guitar – not the dog! In varied, beach scenes. There were many photos of deck chairs, which were considered, as possibles, before selection was narrowed down, to front cover group photo. Back cover photo, is of a Cornish Beach. A reader did, inform, author of which beach! Photo, intended to depict, fictional island beach, in this romantic thriller, now, in serialisation, going forward – on, this site – samgrantpublications.wordpress.com
Poems, with themed notes, had author on search for photos of acacia trees. An African landscape photo was sought. Author, visited, countries, on West African coast, aboard a variety of ship – ore carriers, oil tankers and refrigerated cargo liner. Title, of this cover is – Early Morning Sun Rise, on The Savannah. Narrowed down, from several possible scenes, including Alpine, with, skilled photo shop development by – Paragon Publishing, Rothersthorpe.
Galactic Mission ,(2017 publication), was chosen by the publisher. It was a first venture into full blown science novel fiction for author. A gap followed, with writing of River Escape (2018); Persuasion’s Price; until with start up of Lock Down, in 2020, author progressed novel to a final draft manuscript for September, 2020. BBC Radio were keen to interview, author, and, messaged interviewer repeatedly, until publication, was achieved, on October 16th, 2020 and the interview could take place. A surprise, but a good one, for author.
River Escape, kind of speaks for itself. Author homed in on a river scene, which intends to capture the River Orinoco. Actual photos, of the River Orinoco were not that illuminating, author considered. Expanses of muddy water with brush river banks, have a certain sameness.
Mists of Time -front cover is a photo of Japanese flowers in Autumn.
Persuasion’s Price, mystery thriller – front cover, was chosen from managerial/ personnel/secretary type photos. Intends, to depict Carin, PA to Anton, and, back cover, Vicky, farmer’s daughter, with Cleopatra.
Galactic Mission Part Two – a photo of Mars.
All photos, were developed, photo shopped, for Sam Grant book covers, by Paragon Publishing, Rothersthorpe.