I set the Sat Nav for Poole Harbour, around 50 miles from home it's a nice ride down there, if you don't have to keep stopping. Times have changed; Years ago I'd check if I had enough fuel in the tank by shaking it around and judge by the sound of the petrol sloshing around, now we have a Fuel Warning Light. I pulled into the garage, gone are the cheery "Hello" and reply of "Fill 'er up please". Now we fill it ourselves and are confronted, in this case, with a miserable young woman at the till - "Pump" she barked, "I'm not sure of the number, I think it 3?" was my reply. She looked at me with disdain as though I was something she'd just trodden in; "Well I dunno!". I suggested "It's the only motorbike on the forecourt?". Another glare, "£28.60" she snarled. The next "customer" and only other in the place took his turn, "PUMP?". No - Good Morning Sir, no - Please and no - Thank You. I was tempted to tell her that she may want to choose a different career path, one that had absolutely no contact with the general public, of course I didn't, life's too short. Part of me pitied her, probably having a bad time at home or with her boyfriend, the other part thought, if she's pissed off now it isn't going to get any better through life with that attitude, you won't be "Living The Dream" and then you'll die! I travelled 3 or 4 miles and a Low Tyre Pressure light started blinking, no kicking tyres now, we have a light you know. I stopped, free air is gone as well, it's now 50p a go! The Sat Nav said " Take 2nd Exit - Little Content Lane". Blimey, Little Content! This didn't bode well.
Eventually I arrived at Poole Harbour. There was a palpable difference to the usual tourists, an older generation had taken over, squeezing a weeks break in before the school holidays begin. People ate Fish & Chips and Ice Creams, sometimes simultaneously! They smiled, strolled the quayside, chatted, said "hello" to strangers, some simply sat taking in the views with a happy contented look on their faces. I met one who was stood next to a statue of Lord Baden-Powell (the founder of the scout movement). "They wouldn't let me in so I had to join the Girl Guides!" he quipped. "Of course you can have a photo, hang on, let's get this hat straight..."
I couldn't work out why and then it came to me, not a soul had a smartphone. They weren't lost in another virtual world, they were in the here and now, enjoying life; Actually "Living the Dream". Not involved in some irrelevant Social Media storm, not taking constant selfies. They weren't distant or had that far away blank expression, they were in the moment in the real world. Here's a few more of them. Ok, one has a phone, an office worker on his lunch break, but I couldn't resit that perch position of his -
Well, they aided my composition and as you might be able to tell my thoughts were on lines. Dominating Poole Harbour is the Sunseeker factory where they manufacture luxury motor yachts. One currently moored outside is named (you guessed it) "Living The Dream". I chat with a passer-by at some length, we tried to calculate the cost. The maintenance alone must be eye watering, you'll need a Captain, a small crew, there's a couple hundred thousand a year at least and that's without fuel, servicing etc. When I returned home a quick search on the internet revealed that it was recently sold for £7.5 Million. I also read that some Formula 1 racing team boss had just placed an order for a larger model, he'll be receiving a bill for £33 Million! I saw this couple sat nearby eating their lunch. I imagined that he'd just announced that he was thinking of putting down a deposit on "Living The Dream", a stunned silence whilst she considered her answer, something along the lines of "What?? Living the Bloody Daydream more like!"... perhaps.
I wonder if the people who can afford all of these expensive trinkets, in fact can buy anything they like. I don't believe that they're living the dream at all. It must be boring. For the rest of us purchasing a new lens for example is an agonising process, we yearn and learn about it for months on end. Reading reviews until we decide that there's no way we can possibly afford this lens and buy it anyway. Ok, we enjoy it after a while of remorse, but there has to be some pain and also a large amount of dreaming. We'll leave Poole Harbour now with a shot of a guy chugging past this £7.5 Million yacht in his little boat...I think he's more than likely to be "Living The Dream"...
As usual I would be delighted to read any comments and my sincere thanks go to anyone taking the time to read my blog.
All images can be opened by clicking on the thumbnails and are taken using a Leica M with a Summicron 35mm lens fitted.