Fred has two types of walks those on the lead and those off the lead, this morning was an on the lead walk. On the lead walks are generally into town and at the moment the favourite is to the end of the pier and back which is what we did earlier.
The council are replacing 24 groynes on the beach, this is £2.8 million of government money to upgrade the sea defences to the town. The existing groynes were put in place in 1963 (a year after I was born) and 1973 and have reached the end of their lives. A walk along the sea front into town at the moment takes you past several hundred yards of wire fencing and machinery. In fact, the sea front on the side of the town where we are is totally dominated by 5-6 huge orange 360 diggers. The sea front parking full with vans and trucks and every vehicle says Mackley. The yellow and black lettering of the civil engineering contractor is everywhere. It occurred to me that many of these groyne posts can only be installed when the tide is out and I wondered if they worked under flood lights at night. I stood and watched the works for a bit and could see workmen down on the waters edge working in a pool of water with the sea only yards away from their feet. Fred is investigating every corner, every fence leg, finding out what been going on in this area of sand and generally oblivious. Me I don’t know what I’m doing, just on some kind of mental tick over looking at the piles of wooden upright posts. I am looking at the scale of task being carried out; how massive the posts are with metal tips attached to the points of these huge uprights. I can see an array of interchangeable attachments laid out on the ground used on the arm of the diggers’ and thinking to myself that one must be for holding and pushing the post down into the ground. Why have they needed to take out that notch in all those posts. I am really absorbed in their tools and see chainsaws and notice a pile of very short posts which I am concluding are the off cuts from posts put in place that are too high.
Then it dawns on me that this working team are waiting for us to move through. I realise that a digger has stopped work and is waiting for me and Fred to pass as they need to lift and fuel tank from the beach over and across the pavement and onto a flatbed lorry in the road. No one shouted at us, or told us to get the F=#k out of the way. I walk through yanking Fred, dragging him along resisting every step. I wave sheepishly at the driver of the digger who nods gently back as if to say OK glad you worked out what was happening in the end.