Tales from the Seaside is a humorous collection of short stories reflecting on life by the seaside, attempts to successfully wrangle two small children and the result of being inspired by the sun, the sand and the sea. The perfect beach read, it will have you chuckling in your deckchair.
A man, DEREK, and a woman, SANDRA, are sitting in their front room. DEREK is watching the TV while SANDRA flicks through a magazine.
SANDRA: Where shall we go on holiday this year, love?
DEREK: Caravan ain’t we?
SANDRA: Yeah, but… we could try something different this year – if you want to.
DEREK: What, like go North instead of South or something?
SANDRA: I was thinking something a bit more adventurous than that, dear. We could go anywhere in the world, you know. There’s nothing stopping us. Be nice to explore a bit, see what’s out there. Make a change for us to be the ones with the travel stories. Bring back some souvenirs for the kids and that. Where do you think we should go?
SANDRA: Holiday. Where shall we go?
DEREK: (not really paying attention) Oh I dunno, love. Where do you fancy?
SANDRA: Somewhere hot would be nice. Do you fancy somewhere hot?
DEREK: U huh.
SANDRA: Maybe we could go to Tenerife or El Dorado or something. They got nice beaches there, seen ’em on the telly. That could be nice.
DEREK: Yeah, could be, love.
SANDRA: Oh I’m so pleased you think this is a good idea because I know how you don’t like the heat and that.
DEREK: What heat?
SANDRA: In Tenerife.
DEREK: I ain’t going to bloomin’ Tenerife! Too hot, too many bloomin’ tourists. It’s like going on holiday with all your neighbours. Bloomin English people all over the place. Then you have to look out for them Germans.
SANDRA: Germans? What are you on about?
DEREK: They’re up at sparrows fart getting their towels down on the sun loungers afore anyone else, stopping everyone from having a good spot. It shouldn’t be allowed.
SANDRA: How do you know that?
DEREK taps the side of his nose.
SANDRA: So where do you want to go then?
DEREK: What about one of them city breaks or something? Get a bit of culture. Only not Germany or France – I can’t be doing with the frogs.
DEREK: Yeah, Spain’s nice. Get a bit of ‘ole’ going on over there.
SANDRA: Mm – you don’t think it’s a bit samey though do you?
DEREK: How do you mean?
SANDRA: Well, everyone goes Spain, don’t they? Especially all the old folks. It’ll be like grab-a-granny on a hot day. And anyway, isn’t Spain a bit hot for you – if you’re not doing hot this year.
DEREK: It’s not my fault, it’s a different sun out there. Burns you right through.
SANDRA: It wouldn’t if you wore sun cream.
DEREK: Pft, who has time for messing about with sun cream. At least in the UK you know where you are with the weather.
SANDRA: Yes, dear.
They lapse into silence.
A Bite of... Claire Buss
Q1: Chocolate cake or coffee cake?
If I can’t mix the two and have a mocha cake then I’ll plump for a coffee cake because it won’t be as sickly so I can eat twice as much. Plus coffee cake often comes with nuts and you’ve got to get a bit nutty from time to time.
Q2: What time of day do you write best?
I write when I can squeeze it in and that’s not me trying to sound all blasé about it – it’s the truth. I can’t join the holier than thou 5am writers club because my kids get me up at 5am and they want juice and breakfast and attention and then before you know it, it’s the school run and we’re late. Writing with a seven-month-old should, in theory, be a breeze, however, if you move without permission she will whinge and cry and whinge and cry and whinge and cry until you return to sitting next to her and doing nothing. I would write when she naps but as she usually naps on the school run that doesn’t work either. Plus there’s that pesky thing called housework and children require cooked meals then there’s food shopping etc etc etc. So just write in the evening, when the kids have gone to bed and all your jobs are jobbed and you’re not tired in the slightest! Actually, when I think about it – I have no idea how I fit in the writing time but somehow it happens!
Q3: Are you ticklish? If so where?
Bottom of my feet but touch them at your peril. You’ll get a wicked kick in the face – it’s not my fault, a reflex reaction.
Claire Buss is a multi-genre writer and poet based in the UK. She wanted to be Lois Lane when she grew up but work experience at her local paper was eye-opening. Instead, Claire went on to work in a variety of admin roles for over a decade but never felt quite at home. An avid reader, baker and Pinterest addict Claire won second place in the Barking and Dagenham Pen to Print writing competition in 2015 with her debut novel, The Gaia Effect, setting her writing career in motion. She continues to write passionately and is hopelessly addicted to cake. Tales from the Seaside is her latest book.
You can catch up with Claire on Goodreads, Twitter and all over the place, but especially at her blog, But I Don't Like Salad - bring cake if you drop by!