Slice of Life Story Challenge March 9 -A Beach Day In Autumn –Tranquility Then Terror

A sunny Sunday greeted me this morning. It was an autumn morning loudly wearing all the signs of summer. A summer just concluded. With the temperature expected to climb to 32 degrees Celsius (94 degrees Fahrenheit) this was an opportunity to savour a bonus beach day. So we took it.

Living close to the beach allows for spontaneous decision making. Vicki and I gathered up our beach gear and walked along the grassy lane-way running directly behind our house to Fisherman’s Beach. A couple of hours on the beach and then home for lunch was our agreed plan.

The beach was almost deserted, save for a gathering of families at the far end of the sweeping cove, and a lady lounging under an umbrella just near the stairs that lead down to the sandy shore.

We set up our towels, and umbrella and settled into some reading. A swim was on the agenda at some stage, but first we would enjoy the peace and quiet on offer. Waves rolled in gently before slapping on the shore. The sound they made muffled the droning of the jet skis further out on the bay. This was an added bonus. A few seagulls walked up and down the beach in the hope of finding abandoned morsels of food. The sea glimmered under the rising sun. The breeze was pleasantly warm, not devil’s breath hot as it had been in the midst of summer. This was slice of serenity. This was a relaxing moment in time.

It lasted approximately an hour. The beach then began to populate. Like ants arriving at a picnic, family groups began to gather on the beach. Adults were carrying an assortment of beach related paraphernalia, while children trailed behind carrying buckets, spades and boogie boards. Increasing numbers plodded past our encampment.

Two families with squawking children chose a spot on the beach directly next to where we sat. The four children accompanying them screeched and squealed not with delight, but to more generally communicate. High pitched demands to parents to feed them, lead them, push them, pull them were whined endlessly. This was a manners free zone.  Amazingly, the adults supervising these baby banshees, were either stone deaf or oblivious to the screeching siren voices of their tormentors. They continued to talk to each other, while the children circled them with demands.  Occasionally, they would silently undertake the tasks demanded of them. These children were not toddlers. They appeared to range in age from 7-10. They are products of their environments. They are only living up to expectations. This was children enacting a form of social terrorism. Not a pretty scene at all.

Vicki and I hastily sought the sanctuary of the water. When you dive beneath the surface, the screaming dies away. ‘Have you had enough? Vicki inquired when we returned to shore. ‘I’m so glad you asked,’ I said.

We hurriedly packed up our beach gear and hustled back home to enjoy some quiet time and a spot of lunch.  A morning at the beach, as well as something to write about, -I should be happy about that. Well, I am mostly.  Although, I think I can still hear screaming in the distance. 


  1. I'll be heading to the beach at Noosa tomorrow, and I'll be hoping to avoid the disruption you experienced today. You captured it so perfectly. Sounds like your weather was perfect for the beach. We're a bit cooler here in Queensland right now, but we might see 30 next weekend.

  2. Are you sure those were a family of seagulls? It is so uncomfortable to witness a family out of control like that. It just doesn't have to be that way, but the parents just "didn't do" something way, way back and now feel powerless to change it. They are "in over their heads" and it is affecting so many other people's enjoyment, also. Nannie 911!

  3. Alan,
    Sorry to read of the terrioristic behaviour of the children near your spot. It's a shame that the parents have become oblivious to the mannerless demands of the children in the family. At least you had some time to enjoy your spot before they came around.

  4. Scenes like this really make me appreciate my parents. They drove me nuts as a kid because it seemed we had more rules than a lot of other kids, though my parents weren't super strict.But they were sticklers for manners, politeness and being aware of the impact of your behavior on others. You would have liked our family near you on the beach.

  5. We see these same episodes in our classrooms. We can always tell the ones who have boundaries and expectations at home, because they look for them and expect them in our classrooms. At least you found something to write about! Enjoy your day!

  6. I like how Vicki asked you if "you've had enough." She was either on the same page as you or she reads you like a book!

    P.S. I tried your craft move from yesterday in my post today! Thank you!

  7. Sounds like my dinner out last night! Ach!

  8. So sad your peace was disturbed by the banshees, but it did make for an amusing slice. Unfortunately there are too many of the banshee/terrorist types allowed to have free reign on disturbing other's peace.

  9. Your slice is hilariously written. Isn't is amazing how parents can overlook really bad behavior. The descriptions are really, really funny!


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