corner view ≈ in my experience

there's a belgian seaside town cradling moods past in such a groundhog way i'd like to bid adieu, assuming it's the sensible thing to do. drumming up nostalgia however, i am caught up in sandy dunes, wet sands and sea noise. mainly though, memories

it started in the early seventies with a handful of supervised nieces and nephews spending consecutive summertimes at stella's on church street. i was one of the nieces. without effort i recall the smell of polished, stolid boarding rooms. the windowless pension's backroom doubling as guests' dining room was our evening play area par excellence. and how can i not elicit the crushing toll of one gigantic receptionist's bell. trying to ring that bell first, we repeatedly beat one another, tumbling down the stairway

like magnets spinning 
awol in the pro kitchen, stella let us after hours, while the mothers nipped a nightcap glass of sherry too many. these nights unmistakingly leading to a less monitored {and much favoured} state of contentment, facing one last solitary sand grain ending up in one or other bed: heaven forbid! at last our small troop could snooze off for the night. i can but smile. 

around about the same time and on different occasions i walked the blustery seatown streets holding {another} auntie m's hand. sugar and spice accompanied breezy readings of children's books auntie m got me from the local supermarket. having thrown out those crumbling books at some point in my life, i've slowly 
been thrifting them back in, one by one. such an act hits you with a thud.

later i worked all one summer by the sea. i rented rooms in different boarding houses, chastily sharing family beds with friends from home, or staying overnight in auntie m's flat on quiet nights. all that all of us did every day was work our guts off in fish restaurants and 
at night spend the hard earned penny at the local discotheques, on booze and cigs. that summer we got sick and tired of moonlight shadow and thrilled at 81-82-83-84. a long, promising summer it turned out. oh, hush! my wistful heart.  

these days 
when i'm in town, i stay opposite the postmodern swimming pool off auntie m's condo. that pool is exactly where i fell in love with e. in a most unrequited way. i was a fool for it and a fool for him, but that enamoured bogy kept me going a decade long. between that somewhat discordant past and my hotel window today lies the town's sealife rescue centre. by chance the seals' low cries rising up from the centre concur my inner sequence. the quiet morning though offers sparkling freshness.  

i hop over the tramway tracks under construction, clamber the low dunes and lift my gaze towards the huge seaport in the east, outlined by late shimmering 
lights. walking down along the embankment, i turn towards the concrete jetty and follow its tail straight into the sea. braving the height beaming up through the wooden floorboards, the water lies nearly still as the sun lazily rises from behind the apartment blocks on the embankment. IME, i'll be back. and maybe, just maybe, i'll stop minding at last. jane's corner view, francesca's hosting, kristen's theme. {ps - low pixel quality images from tablet!}


  1. wonderful piece of prose, i was right there with you, back then,i even have some simular memories, you can write my dear, x

  2. what a walk down memory lane! I can see the smooth stretches, and the bumpy ones. i hope in some other lane in your life, you met someone more deserving.

  3. You take me to the air, dear Nadeschda! Pure poetry...

    xo Ariane.

  4. I would love to be standing in that quiet spot right now. So lovely.

  5. Love your photos...and I think nostalgia is one of my favourite emotions - even reading other people's nostalgic thoughts.
    I too have sought out memorable childhood books. No harm is dwelling on the past occasionally as long as we're generally moving forward overall :-)

  6. This is my most favorite post to date. To be able to still see something from your childhood is special. It's a small altar if we want it to be. A place to continue to add small mental relics and memories. Lovely xo

  7. so poetic :)
    and a test comment as blogger won´t let me comment :(

  8. Love seaside memories! Love the seaside period! Call smell the ocean all the way from here! Read on Francesca's blog that your mom is 90! How amazing! Hope you get her long life genes.

  9. What wonderful memories and you describe them in such a beautiful and poetic way.

  10. what a trip down your memory lane. Thanks for sharing them....I felt like i was right there with you.
    Lovely photos.

  11. So beautiful words...a great memory trip and photos...beautiful!!!

  12. what a beautiful piece Nadine- your really getting a knack for this writing/photo menage :) I'm SO liking it!!
    Keep going- :)

  13. Love this --- both your prose and your photos! Reminds me of a place on Lake Erie where I went every summer from birth -- 18 yrs. of age. Then after I had kids I took them and their dad (my 1st husband) to Lakeside for wonderful weeklong memories. The only sad part about it is it was very much apart of my parents' lives and they are gone now.

  14. Beautifully written . . . so evocative of your experiences in that seaside town. I can almost taste the salty air, feel the grit of sand in the bed, feel the wistful tug of that unrequited love - been there too. Wow. And those photos - perfect. Karyn - Eliza's Dream

  15. Wonderful lyrics and pics to fond and sometimes shaken memories of the eighties! I'm glad that I know just a few places of your past and your todays and might be puzzled piece in your memories.
    barbara bee