LETTER: Poor beach behaviour irks regular visitor

About three weeks ago my daughter and I decided to walk the Outlet Beach at around 8 a.m. every morning. This would be good for us, help us to get through the day feeling focused and relaxed.

The first few days were great. Several people were doing the same and we greeted each other at six foot distance with a polite a Good Morning. A few happy dogs were frolicking at the dog area and we would stop and watch them before turning and heading back down the beach. Families with small children were grouped appropriately and enjoying the water.

Then last weekend the landscape seemed to change. On the Saturday a large group of people were setting up camp and, as they had a dog with them, we politely informed them that the dog area was further down the beach and they would be moved on. We didn’t want them to have unpacked what seemed to be the contents of a small apartment only to have to move it all.

We were being perfect ambassadors for the County. They thanked us and stayed where they were. I wondered if they obviously couldn’t read signs or were hard of hearing. Such a shame as they were not old people. We proceeded towards the beach exit and were confronted by a undetermined number of people all gathered together headed towards us. Not one person attempted to move aside and looked quite confused when the two of us leapt across the sand to a socially political distance. I realized that they had, most probably, been dropped from another planet and were not aware of the global pandemic. Between there and our car there were various broken toys, paper wrappers and a used diaper on the ground.

Yesterday took the biscuit. Having almost finished our walk we ran into a couple walking their dog. Assuming they were tourists, as no County folks would be so blatantly ignorant of the common curtesy of beach etiquette, we again politely pointed out the dog area was at the other end of the beach to which the woman brusquely replied it was early, they did it all the time and everyone did it. We obviously hadn’t met “Everyone” on our previous walks.

After a brief swim we returned home, both frustrated, tense and wondering if there was something we were missing in the road of life. It was 10 a.m. and I was sorely tempted to push aside the coffee pot and pour a large gin and tonic.

Penny Hughes