Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Back to Britain - Part 2 - the White Cliffs of Dover
There’ll be bluebirds over
The white cliffs of Dover
Just you wait and see
The White Cliffs of Dover are synonymous with England and the sense of relief of those Spitfire pilots who saw them loom out of the blue after engaging the Luftwaffe or the souls huddled on boats escaping Dunkirk, must have been palpable.
Admittedly whenever I have seen them the White Cliffs of Dover were slightly grey and slightly dirty and not as sparking as in our imaginations, scarred by ferry terminals and other industrial installations. The Seven Sisters in Sussex are considerably more majestic.
During a childhood holiday in Kent I remember the forbidding gray terraces, the clouds and the drizzle as I shivered through a bout of tonsillitis. My parents were underwhelmed by Kent which makes it all the more ironic that they recently moved here. I recall the bulk of Dover Castle and a shell temple, one of the few interesting things they found to do on this holiday.
In more recent time I took a late ferry from Dover. The town seemed down at heel and full of ragged asylum seekers. It seemed rather ironic that a nation that had repulsed the Nazi invasion on those long days of vapor trails and death over the eggshell blue skies of Kent, had allowed a European invasion thanks to the European Union.
If I have time I’ll go back to the white cliffs of Dover.