Mouille Point is not the most glamorous of Cape Town’s many beaches. It’s small and full of kelp and not always very clean. It’s close to the harbour. It doesn’t have lifeguards and you can’t rent a beach chair. No-one goes there to get a sun tan. There’s some activity happening at the moment which I will go and suss out soon but in the meantime I’m indulging myself because it’s my birthday in 5 minutes and there is one thing Mouille Point Beach has, for me. Childhood memories.
We used to live on Surrey Place, directly across from the beach, and on Sunday mornings my father would take my siblings and me down to the beach to mess around in the rock pools, paddle in the ice cold water and collect sea urchins. Papa carried a pair of scissors, salt and pepper, and tea spoons, and we would cut a circle in the top of the urchins and eat them right there and then on the beach. This is one of my most cherished memories of what one could cornily call an age of innocence, before life became Hard and Tough and Challenging.