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Liking stuff I don’t like

18 December, 2013

I live by the coast, but I don’t really like the sea. I can barely swim, I can’t remember the last time I was on a beach, never mind in the sea. There is a major international boat show in our town every year, we have a couple of yacht marinas and several enormous cruise ships call our port their home, but none of that has any interest for me. Despite all this nautical antipathy though, one of my favourite things on the radio is the Shipping Forecast. I love the poetry, the rhythm, the word pictures that the descriptions evoke. I imagine the swell of the sea, the blustering gales, the clear visibility, the searching beams of the lighthouses. And not once do I think of myself being out there.

 

On Sunday morning, I like listening to the Sunday Service. The voices of the choir, the sermons of the vicar or priest or preacher (depending on the denomination that week), ease me into the weekend. But I have no interest in religion at all. I am a devout atheist. I listen to the rhythm of the words, the melody of the hymns, but their meaning goes by me unheeded. I think if I listened closely it would lose its appeal for me.

 

Every Christmas Eve, I help my sister with the preparations for the next day. We chop, we slice, we cook, we drink, and when my niece and nephew were younger we would wrap last minute presents into the late evening. Then I walk home, happily drunk, happily anticipating the next day, and I walk past the church where the midnight Christmas service has already started. More recently I have stopped for a while and listened to the organist and the congregation, and this year I think I will go in. I’ll sit at the back, I won’t join in, I’ll just listen and soak up the festive atmosphere. I love the shipping forecast without being a sailor, and I will appreciate the service without believing.

 

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From → Blogging, My Head

3 Comments
  1. You live by the coast and don’t like the sea? Did you have a traumatic seaside experience when you were little? I grew up not far from where you are and have always loved the sea and water, it was like an extension of the playground to me.
    Totally agree about the shipping forecast though, it sounds like a magic spell being woven as the mystical names are read out.

    • I live by the coast but we dont have a beach, only a port. The nearest decent beach is 30 miles away so i wasnt exactly brought up on the dunes!
      There wasnt a dramatic event, just never really liked the beach much and im barely a swimmer so i just sort of kept out of its way!

  2. Seems such a shame when you live near the sea. I come from a long line of sailors in the Royal Navy but rejected my father’s attempts to get me to join too!

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