Sunday, 16 September 2012

There'll be blue skies over the white cliffs of Dover

My Dad had so many sayings, little phrases and automatic verbal responses that I often almost hear him saying them. I suppose that his memory is forever in my heart and his quirky words are etched into the way I see the world. Despite the weather, he would always say that if there were enough blue sky to make a pair of sailor's trousers then the weather would turn out fine. I remember him saying this most often as we huddled behind our windshield, under our sun umbrella and towels as a tropical storm blew across which ever beach we were braving.
"Get in the sea," he'd say, "there's enough blue sky to make a sailor a pair of trousers, the sun will be out in a minute". I would ask how he knew that there was enough to make a pair of trousers and his response was always the same. "How long is a piece of string?" I never knew the answer to that so conversation over.

The National Trust look after The White Cliffs Coastal Site and it is one of the most outstandingly beautiful spots along the chalky coast of the this part of Kent. It is however a bizarre mix of nature, concrete and steel remains, war relics and industrial port.

I don't believe that the Port of Dover has changed since I was a teenager and we used to travel to France for our annual family holiday. This photo was taken today but I think it would be exactly the same if it were taken in the 1980s.

I even think that Josie looks slightly retro here, with her star t-shirt and wind slept hair looking rather like she wouldn't be out of place in a Bon Jovi video.

My Dad would have been very pleased to have his theory proved correct, the clouds disappeared and there were clear blue skies over the white cliffs of Dover.

And yes, that is Charlie on the edge of the cliff top with a sheer drop inches away from his little tootsies and the wind whistling round his ears.

I wonder if my Dad would have been standing next to Charlie posing for photos at the edge of the cliffs or telling him to move back from the edge. The answer of course is neither of these options, he would have been taking the photos and as for keeping tiny children from falling off the edge of cliffs, that was my Mum's job.

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