You can’t beat a leisurely Sunday morning breakfast followed by a stroll along the seafront to brush off the cobwebs and clear your head. Whether you’re a muesli fan, an egg and bacon fiend, a baked bean or sardines on toast aficionado, or a continental fruitcake, a full tummy is essential in my book before heading out into the early morning sunshine for a good sniff of salty sea air. John and I took the car to Worthing this particular morning for a wander along the promenade and managed to find some free parking which always puts John in a jolly mood. When we got out of the car we realised why the parking spot was free, because the pier looked quite small in the distance to me. But John said it was a stone’s throw and we decided that the walk would do us both good.
The wide promenade and long shingle beach met the wet sand being exposed by the water as the tide made its way out and I had a feeling of being free with a sense of appreciation as I thought about the many animals across the world that don’t have the luxury of freedom. Looking out to the horizon across the expanse of silvery water, I wondered what the ships in the distance were doing, may be fishing or carrying cargo or people from one place to another. You wouldn’t catch me on a boat because I have a delicate stomach and certainly wouldn’t welcome the endless bobbing up and down. Talking of bobbing up and down, there were quite a few joggers out in their Lycra shorts and fancy trainers and they all smiled at me as they pounded past, panting and glistening in the warm glow of the sun.
As we headed towards the pier, we stopped to read about its history and discovered that it was opened in 1862 and, having been through a fire, a war and extensive renovation, it is a Grade II listed building. The first moving picture show in Worthing was seen on the pier in around 1896 and there used to be a steam ship in operation between Worthing Pier and Brighton, a few miles to the East. The front of the pier is currently home to the Pavilion Theatre and we saw posters advertising films and shows including old Greg Wallace hosting a dessert cooking session where he presumably makes puddings and everyone tucks in. Sounds yummy!
Without the crowds and tourists that no doubt visit during the day, I could hear John’s footsteps on the wooden boards and the squawks of the gulls flying overhead as we made our way to the sea end of the pier which boasts an Art Deco style tearoom. It was too early for the tearoom to be open but try telling that to the crows and pigeons sitting on the roof waiting for titbits. There were several guys passing the time fishing, their rods all pointed outwards in an array of lines as they waited patiently for an unsuspecting fish to take the bait. I tiptoed bravely towards the railing to get a better look and felt a bit woozy at the sight of the dark water sploshing around underneath us. Then I suddenly spotted 4 pretty little plovers strutting along the beams and pecking at the barnacles. I stayed perfectly still so John could take a few pictures and then I meowed ‘hello’ because I’m a polite boy but they ignored me and eventually hopped off. Charming!
John and I turned around and headed back to the car which seemed further away than we thought. As we strolled back, the wind was behind us and there were more people this time on bicycles or walking their dogs. I was so tired that John agreed to carry me back after picking up a couple of odd-shaped sea shells for me to take home and sniff as a reminder of our early morning trip to the seaside.