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26 Jun 2017

Summer Issue IW Magazine

Cover 250wParadise Lost

It’s not the same. Not remotely the same.

How something can change so much, I just don’t understand. I used to beg to come here, when the gorgeous, golden, glistening sun bounced off the deep blue waves and ripples that overlapped and washed up the sweetest messages in jars or slightly green tinted bottles.

When I’d dip my toes in the foam of the cooling refreshing waves then sprint back through the soft, scorching sand. The times I would sit on the pier with a paper cone of chips and peacefully watch the sun and sky blend into deep reds, oranges and pinks. Even when we would all gather round on a fairly small blue and red tartan rug and end up grinding our teeth on the specs of sand that would get between the layers of butter and ham; discovering crabs in the miniature rock pools with our brightly coloured nets.

How about the times we would cover each other in sand and bury each other all the way up to our necks?

The competitions for who could build the tallest sandcastle with moats and flags, the time when we all had no idea what a mobile phone was and we could laugh and play for hours on end.

But, like I said, it’s not the same.

Not remotely the same. How can something have changed so much? Now, I beg not to come here. Now, I see the blinding, scalding sun which highlights the murky, brown, unsanitary water; the dangerous ripples and waves that drag you under, bringing empty beer bottles and cans occasionally filled with cigarette butts or a faded receipt to the shore. When I enter the water, ankle deep, I see the litter and dirt just washing over my feet.

The sand isn’t a nice soft sand, it’s a scolding, painful one filled with what feels like shards of glass. As I sit on the pier my paper cone of chips slowly rips as the heat condenses and is absorbed by the paper. Seagulls swoop over me, eyeing up their next possible meal; the space you have to fight for on the ripped and tattered rug, only to have a horrible gritty taste of sand in your mouth.

It gets worse. When you are smothered by sand, neck deep and confined, even breathless. Holding competitions on the best sandcastle is like a fight. If you win, yours will be destroyed by the other player’s angry feet almost immediately. The panic you feel when your mobile says “20% battery remaining”  is palpable and you know you will be bored for hours on end.

My paradise is lost now. It will never be the same. How has it changed so much… or have I changed?

Ella, U4P

IW Magazine Summer issue on sale in school now!

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