July 5, 2016 by Whispering Smith
Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette June 23rd. 2016
As Shakespeare might say, ‘a midsummer day’s nightmare’
Summertime and the thieving is easy, especially if you are a gull and have spent the last nine months in training with the locals feeding you bread by hand along the prom and river walkway. You learn to spot a carrier bag or unprotected grub from 100 yards away. Ah, an ice cream cone, a doughnut and sprinkles, a burger and, best of all, Fred’s fish and chips. Down you go like a Stuka, all of those grey days of training and then you are off and running. Problem is it is now a sunny summer and folk want to protect their food and should you steal it they will call for your little black head on a pike. Poor old gulls, a no win situation. There is an answer of sorts and Arun have it, I was delighted to spot the sign in Arundel’s Jubilee Gardens: ‘Do not feed the gulls.’ No please or thank you, not a request this but a direct order from Arun. I would dearly love to see such signs along our promenade and river walkway, it would be better for us, the visitors and for the gulls they really do not need a diet of cheap, white and probably stale bread. Go Arun.
SITTING in the East beach Café on midsummer’s day morning, eating toast and marmalade washed down by a double shot of Americano coffee. Outside the sea and the sky are as gray as gray can be, even the wagtails have deserted the promenade. The sea is ragged and the wind and rain driving hard against the glass. The bouncy sign outside the window is swaying backwards and forwards, dog walkers heavily draped in ponchos and waterproof trousers plod wearily by thinking maybe having a dog wasn’t such a great idea after all. Then, in the late afternoon bathed in sunshine, sitting in Rustington’s The Honeypot eating a cream tea. Summer? Even the swallows are confused.