Visit Siani's Other Blogs

Visit Gower Strange Days

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Crazy golf at Port Eynon

Friday dawned, another nice, sunny day. After securing all windows and doors so that she couldn't escape, I managed to capture my cat, Liberty, and shut her in her cage. Feeling pleased with myself that I had plenty of time to get to the bus stop, to get a bus into town, I was about to grab the cat and head off. To my horror, she was peeing all over the bedding in her cage, in fear of what lay ahead. To make matters worse, it was also spouting out through the bars, and onto my carpet. So I had to get her out, clean the cage, change the bedding, clean the carpet and spray it with a super-expensive [£6 a bottle] spray that neutralises cat pee.

After all that, and by the time I'd chased her around and caught her again, we arrived at the bus stop with just fifteen minutes to spare before the 145 left the Quadrant. Luckily, a bus arrived almost right away, and I was able to connect with the 145.

With the ordeal of the PDSA over for another month, I packed a bottle of pop and the novel I'm currently reading, Michael Connelly's Chasing the Dime, and headed off to catch the bus that passes the end of my road. That got me into town just in time for the 118. After changing onto another bus at Killay, I found myself in Port Eynon.

To my consternation, the gale that had been in Rhossili the day before, was now rattling around Port Eynon Bay. Checking my bag, I was annoyed to discover I'd forgotten my cardigan. However, being an outdoor person at heart, I decided there was no reason for me to freeze. Once on the beach, I clambered up into the dunes, and settled down into a depression, surrounded by marram grass. Within minutes, I was baking hot. The sand formed a perfect sun trap, and the marram grass acted as a perfect wind break. Slapping on some factor 50 total sun block, I settled down to read. I had tried taking photographs, but the lighting conditions were again challenging, plus the relative lack of cloud cover made the whole scene a little dull.

I normally wear reading glasses when I read anything that requires more than a minute or two of scrutiny. However, my reading glasses don't have Reactolite lenses, and I can't be out in strong sunlight without shades, because my eyes are very sensitive to strong sun. So the lesser of the two evils was reading without my reading glasses. As a result, I had to take frequent breaks from reading, to avoid eye strain.

On one of these breaks, I looked up and could barely believe my eyes. This character suddenly appeared on the beach ahead of me, running and staggering around with a strange, erratic and wobbly gait. I realised he had some kind of disability, as his feet turned inward slightly, and he ran with his back and legs bent.

I assumed he was a retired businessman or something, practising his golf. Then I realised he was practising his putting with an upended walking stick and a tennis ball. This amused and intrigued me, so I continued to watch. My intrigue grew, as he danced around in glee, waving his arms and his stick in the air, after each successive shot, driving the tennis ball closer and closer to the water's edge. This guy was having a one-man party - I've never seen anyone enjoy themselves so much.

As I continued to watch, I suspected he had some kind of learning disability or dementia. I was effectively watching an 80 year old child. I found myself laughing, not at him as such, but because his sheer glee was infectious. This guy was having an absolute riot, jigging and dancing on twisted limbs barely able to support him. He trotted along the sand like a wobbly toddler just finding its feet, whooping and giggling. Yet despite his apparent disabilities and advancing years, he was immaculately turned out, obviously being cared for by somebody. He also wasn't as far gone as I initially thought. When I whipped out my camera, thinking he wouldn't notice - he did, immediately. Waving and smiling at me, he started to show off, his dancing growing ever more frantic.

The best laugh he gave me was when he missed a shot. Although he was too far away by now for me to hear, his actions suggested he was giving the tennis ball a ticking off. Then he threw the walking stick down in frustration, danced around it for a while, before picking it up and bashing the ball with it. He then resumed his game, and as I headed off to get a bus home, I could see him in the distance, still golfing and dancing away, lost in his own little world of golf heaven.

I half-envied this little Dickensian character. The only thing that mattered to him was his makeshift game of golf, as he danced around in the sunshine. Within an hour, I was facing the drudgery of grocery shopping in Tesco. Maybe I should try a game of makeshift golf, sometime.

No comments: