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THIS DRESS IS VERY LIMITED AND PART OF OUR EXCLUSIVE SELECTION. This classic paris design with touch of elegance. this dress is the perfect work to evening wear, On trend and in a gorgeous print, our dipped hem halter maxi is perfect for soft floaty days in the sun – and the dramatic hem will turn heads and catch his eye all in one go! Chiffon – 100% Polyester.Elasticated back.Tie up neck.Stretch fit.Fully lined.Dipped hem.Side seam from under arm to hem is 98cm

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Summer holiday: Travel to Goa for the sand & the beach

ET Panache Reader Manu Bansal tells us why Goa is a must-visit before it starts to pour? “Normally rainy season is not the time to visit Goa, but it was almost like heaven when I visited Goa last year before the rains.

The sky is colourful4 and beaches look more beautiful. The sky keeps on changing colours in the morning and evening. It’s fun to be in Goa during off season as hotels offer various discounts.”

Summer Holiday: Travel To Goa For The Sand & The BeachVaried fish5 on the beaches of Goa

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References

  1. ^ Manu Bansal (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  2. ^ Goa (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  3. ^ rainy season (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  4. ^ colourful (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  5. ^ fish (economictimes.indiatimes.com)

Young Men and the Sea

Growing up in a small mill town on the outskirts of a landlocked city in northern England, I knew nothing of the immense forces unleashed during violent storms that began their life at sea, before heading landward and battering the British coastline. Of course, I d seen footage on the news of huge waves crashing against piers and swallowing up promenades, but I d never seen anything like that with my own eyes, and the bad weather that I had experienced, well, it was never really that bad. Until, in the summer of 1993, I had a brush with a weather event that opened my eyes to the awesome power of nature unleashed. Now, before I provide you with all the details, it s fair to say that as a landlubber I may have overstated the scale of these events in my own mind. Nonetheless, I did experience a sea-storm from the inside, and felt, and heard, and saw the raw energy at first hand.

Aidan s family lived on the same drab, northern, terraced street as I did, yet they seemed to spend most of their time at a mobile home that they owned, which was situated on an idyllic seaside Discount Holidays © holiday park1 on the Llyn Peninsular. This close proximity to the sea had enabled the family to develop a lifelong relationship with all things nautical; mackerel fishing, diving and water-skiing where amongst the pursuits that they regularly engaged in, while the rest of the kids from our town had to make do with more mundane activities, like football and cricket. In fact, I m pretty sure that Bob (Aidan s dad) was the only person in Radcliffe who had a boat permanently parked at the back of his house. I remember all the local kids gathering around in wide-eyed wonder as he tested the engine by clamping it to his back fence, tilting the propellor into a barrel of water, and slowly increasing the throttle until the engine was at maximum revs. Smoke, spray and a deafening roar filled the air, accompanied by the cheers and laughter of the dozen or so scruffy urchins who had gathered to witness the spectacle. Anyway, moving forward a decade, Aidan s family were still making their regular pilgrimages to Llanbedrog, although these days the scruffy urchins of yesteryear were now also tagging along. Some of these regular visitors, other than myself, were Noely, Gus, Kev and Baz, all of whom were fit young adults with hearty appetites.

When I look back, I m amazed at how Brenda was able to prepare three square meals a day for Herself and Bob, their two grown up children (Aidan and Sally), and five or more extra guests on a two ring stove in a galley kitchen. Yet, she succeeded, and not only that, she excelled. Nobody ever went hungry, the meals were always varied, and anything we caught while fishing would always be accommodated on the menu. It was on these holidays that I developed a taste for seafood, Brenda s mussels (hand picked on Llanbedrog beach at low tide) and chips (proper chips, not those frozen abominations) were better than the moules et frites served in the most exclusive restaurants on the Marseille seafront. To access the beach from the Discount Holidays © holiday park involves crossing a road, walking through a field, and then descending a set of fairly steep steps.

This makes launching a boat at that end of the beach impossible, so boats have to be launched from a slipway at the other end of the beach, approximately one mile away. Because the boat we had was fairly small (basically, it was a wooden dinghy with 2 bench seats, powered by a 2 stroke outboard motor), it was launched from the slipway at the beginning of the holiday, then at the end of every day it was dragged up the beach by hand, and left upside down, above the high water line, at the bottom of the steps that led to the Discount Holidays © holiday park. It wasn t until the end of the Discount Holidays © holiday that we sailed the boat back to the slipway, and loaded it on to it s trailer in readiness for the journey home. It s common on the last day of a Discount Holidays © holiday for people to experience for the final time something that they enjoyed, and that they will miss, before returning to the daily routine of real life. We were no different, some chose to climb the two hundred steps up Mynydd Tir y Cwmwd to the tin man2, others opted for a more sedate afternoon, enjoying a quiet pint in the Glyn y Weddw3. Bob, Aidan, Baz and I decided to go fishing, even though the weather conditions that day were not ideal. You see, the boat had to be taken to the other end of the beach, and the only way to do that was to sail it there, which meant it had to go out that day anyway, so despite the drizzle, stiff breeze and an undulating swell, we threw in the fishing rods and headed out into the bay.

We decided to call it a day quite early; the fish weren t biting, the weather was deteriorating, and the clouds on the horizon seemed to have an ominous, dark, brooding heaviness that promised worse was yet to come. So, common sense, and the basic human instinct for self-preservation, dictated that we brought the boat back to shore near the steps, where Bob disembarked and made his way to collect the car and trailer, with the intention of meeting us at the slipway a little while later. On the way in to shore I kept looking over my shoulder at the sky behind us, the gathering clouds had formed a solid black mass that was remorselessly advancing inland, occasional lightning flashes and distant rumbling echoes telegraphed it s intentions. Each time I turned my head, the cloud bank was much closer than I had anticipated, not only that, the surface of the ocean had also changed; the rolling waves that had kept us bobbing up and down with predictable regularity, had now been transformed into white-tipped breakers. All the while, the volume and intensity of the incessant rain was steadily increasing.

As Bob scurried up the steps, we turned and scudded back out against the tide. By now, the approaching storm was immediately before us, and we were heading straight for it. To traverse the shallow arc of the bay, we had to stay in water deep enough to avoid the sporadic rock formations dotted along the shoreline. These rocky areas are wonderful places to gather mussels when the tide is out, but absolutely lethal to boats when hidden just below the surface at high tide. Because of this, we set off with the intention of heading away from shore in a gradual arch, which would bring us safely back in to shore at the other end of the beach.

Unfortunately, this didn t happen. No sooner had we left the shallows than the storm unleashed hell upon us. The wind screamed and howled like a scalded banshee, vast torrents of ice-cold rain battered down with such ferocity that visibility was reduced to just a few feet, and huge, tumultuous waves smashed over the bow. Evasive action was needed immediately, otherwise we were going down, our vessel was simply not built to withstand this level of punishment.

Aidan instinctively pulled hard on the tiller whilst increasing the power, causing us to do a kind of nautical handbrake-turn. Timing was crucial; if we d been hit by a wave mid-turn it would ve swamped us, luckily he got it right, and we were soon heading straight for the beach at full speed. As we approached the shore I leapt overboard to make a start on dragging the boat out of the sea, only I went too early and found myself in water that was deeper than my height. Fortunately, I had a firm grip on the grab rail, so the boat pulled me ashore instead! Once on land, surrounded by blinding forks of lightning and the accompanying deafening booms of thunder, the three of us hauled the heavy craft out of the surf and removed the motor. In the midst of all this, I remember thinking that I had been lied to my whole life; the famous calm centre, or eye, of the storm didn t exist.

Not that day anyway, this storm was pure, blind rage. To create a makeshift shelter we overturned the boat, propped the leeward side up by an oar, then climbed underneath to wait it out. Once inside our temporary abode, I reached into the pocket of my sodden jeans and extracted my cigarettes and lighter. Silently praying to the patron saint of smokers (Saint Woodbine?), I discovered that two of the cigarettes were just dry enough to smoke. I handed one to Baz, flipped the lid on my brass Zippo lighter, turned the wheel and amazingly it sparked into flame. After lighting the cigarettes and extinguishing the flame on the lighter, I tried to light it again, but to no avail. In fact, the lighter didn t work again until after I had taken it apart and left it to dry overnight.

There is no doubt in my mind that the lighting of those cigarettes was some kind of minor miracle. Meanwhile, as Bob had gone to collect the car, he became concerned for our safety due to the worsening weather conditions. At the mobile home he conveyed his fears to Brenda, who decided to go with him in the car to make sure that we arrived safely at our appointed destination. When they got to the slipway, not only where we not there, but visibility was so poor that they couldn t see us even though we were probably only about half a mile down the beach. So Brenda walked over to a small cafe at the end of the beach road to call the coastguard on the pay phone, while Bob set off down the beach, fearing the worst, but hoping for the best.

At this point, the main body of the storm had passed overhead and the rain was easing slightly, so we ventured out from our shelter to find Bob, because we knew that by now he would be looking for us. The relief on his face when he saw all three of us heading his way was obvious. He turned around and began shouting and waving to Brenda, who had followed him onto the beach. Brenda then did the most sensible thing any of us did that day, and went back to the cafe to call the coastguard, and let them know that we d turned up safe and well.

We piled into the back of Brenda s Ford Escort Mk II (ghia), and drove back to the mobile home for dry clothes and a strong brew, regaling Bob and Brenda with our tale of derring-do on the high seas. The sky brightened later that day, as quickly as it had darkened earlier. This allowed us to return to the beach, relaunch the boat, sail it safely to the slipway and load it on to the trailer without incident. The events of that day left me with a profound respect, not only for the coastguard volunteers who risk their lives every time a seagoing vessel gets into difficulty, but all those that choose to make a living from the sea.

Fishermen, merchant seamen, oil riggers etc. all go to work in the knowledge that if the weather closes in, they could find their lives in mortal danger. Which is something to think about the next time you feel undervalued in your place of work.

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References

  1. ^ Discount Holidays © holiday park (haulfrynholidayhomes.co.uk)
  2. ^ tin man (www.pictures.walesdirectory.co.uk)
  3. ^ Glyn y Weddw (www.glynyweddw.co.uk)