Thursday, July 27, 2006

Beach life / Best summer music / Road accidents

I could happily have been - and still be - a beach bum. There is little more evocative than “the beach” in summer. I don’t understand people who head for the pool. Maybe it’s memories of one of the greatest of all bands - The Beach Boys; maybe Bournemouth during the summer of love; maybe the south of France at any time over many years; maybe the gorgeous Koukanaries beach in Skiathos. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Beach life has changed though. Time was when a barbecue would be dragged onto the sand, impromptu parties would take place. Life would be the beach. It doesn’t happen now unless it’s organised, which isn’t the same. The beach bars have lost much of their charisma. There’s not one here that compares to the great tavern at Zante’s old Laguna beach (years ago before they lost the plot there) run by a couple of hippies with their day-long music and tuna salads. Balneario 6 in Playa de Muro had a stab. Weekend parties but they didn’t seem to catch on. it didn’t feel right anyway, what with a whacking great hotel right next door; that’s not beach life. The “kities” give it a go, but they are banished to where they can do little harm.

But maybe beach life was never really as I remember. Perhaps it was all an illusion. Like The Beach Boys, who never actually went surfin’ safari. That said, they - or Brian Wilson at least - created the beach illusion and then also ended it with the most poignant song of all: “Surf’s Up”.

This lurch in a musical direction does make me wonder what are the best and worst all-time beach/summer records of all time. For the thousands of you who visit this blog, here is the chance for some good old interaction. For a kick-off, I list some of my all-time bests, in something of a chronological order:

“A Summer Place”, Percy Faith and his Orchestra
“Groovin”, The Young Rascals
“Surf’s Up”, The Beach Boys
“Long Hot Summer”, Style Council
“Summertime”, Fresh Prince of Bel Air

And the worst in no particular order:

“Beach, Baby, Beach”, The Rubettes
“In The Summertime”, Mungo Jerry
“Y Viva España”, Sylvia

So, get emailing me with your selections. Go to

Back in the real world. The road death statistics for the Balearics for the first half of the year make depressing reading. There was a truly horrific accident in Menorca the other day; the car was cut in half. The British family died. And this despite attempts to cut the accident rate. I say it again though, Trafico needs to be more proactive, not just hang out at roundabouts and nab a few for minor offences.

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