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A Glimpse Into Alabama

Friday, 3 Jan 2003
written by Teresa

Picture the scene: An Italian restaurant that also doubles as a comedy club, a waiter called "Madd Mike" and a fly in my wine. I couldn't resist. "Waiter, waiter, what was that fly doing in my wine?" Unfortunately, he hadn't been primed with the stock answers of "The backstroke" or "Be quiet, everyone will want one". In the life of a comedian this must surely have been a missed opportunity but then on the other hand, maybe it happens every week and he just finds it tiresome.

We are in the tongue of Alabama that reaches down to lap at the Gulf waters. Slightly inland there is a preponderance of cotton fields with their small white pom-poms still waiting to be picked but apart from this glimpse of the traditional image of Alabama, the rest is pure tourist land. The sea front is hotel and tack shop in equal proportions and is geared up for huge summer crowds.

The beach at Gulf SP on New Year's Day On the first day of the year, the temperatures are low, the wind blowing and the sun hiding. The long stretches of white beach are virtually empty. Waves rush up the sand trying to catch us out as we amble along, looking at shells and stranded blue jellyfish. The Snowy Plovers run up and down in tune with the ebb and flow, their little legs a blur as they hurry to avoid getting their feet wet. The dunes shift, grain by grain, the pelicans skim, inches from the waves, a lone surfer braves the water and the clouds finally give way to enough blue sky to make a pair of trousers for a mouse. The matching jacket will have to wait.

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