BD_03_TOWEL TERRITORY July 8, 2014


I couldn't help but share this story!

Everyone knows the feeling when you go to the beach (my therapy in life) and you find that secluded spot where no one will bother you - peace and quiet, just the sound of the ocean lapping against the sand. Until… you hear what sounds like the echo of laughter and excitement as the beach begins to populate. You don't take much notice but then before you know it, you hear the crunching of sand in your ear and the sound of that annoying person - or people - who decide to lay their towel literally on top of you. You try and give them a territorial look, one that you hope will scare them off - but with no success they drop their bag and claim their position. Why oh Why, when they have the entire beach to sit on?!

I love these tips on how to be neighbourly at the beach! Take note space invaders!!!


Claim your space (within reason) Beach towels are the creators of sovereign seaside borders. The larger the surface area of your encampment, the larger empire you have in your terry-towel territory, free to govern as you so please. However, don’t be a vacation Viking and invade other tanners’ domains. Regardless of who set foot on your land first, be kind and keep the commandeering and pillaging to a minimum.

Bring enough food to share Floating can be hungry work, and most people don’t bring enough tasty food or fresh water to the beach. If your neighbor is picking at a sandy sandwich and you have some watermelon triangles to spare, do the right thing and offer the olive branch of communal dining: snacks. Besides, they may have the perfect bottle of Pimm’s to match your glut of wilting fresh mint. Just don’t do any of the above when there are seagulls circling, otherwise you’ll risk a scrum of wings invading your Tupperware.

Walk the walk Sand is made up of billions of tiny worn-down particles of coral, rocks, shells, minerals and forgotten flip-flops. En masse they come together to provide us with a natural mattress on which to lie on and sun ourselves, but as individual elements they’re prone to causing strife. Be careful not to kick up sand into your neighbors’ eyes when wandering along the water’s edge, shake out your towel at the end of the day in a secluded area and don’t instigate sand-ball fights with toddlers.

Say hello Cramming hundreds of people into a small space means the best way to survive a day sans awkwardness is acknowledging the absurdity of the human condition. After all, you’re sharing a space with total strangers while wearing less clothing than you’d normally wear in front of your boss. Make sure you’re not invading your neighbors’ sandy solitude, but also don’t ignore the semi-clad elephant in the room. A causal nod or a comment on the trashy novel they’re reading will go far for niceties, and then you can return to your mutual ignoring.

Play ball within bounds Being at the beach can be an easy way to get some incidental exercise. In between rounds of rotisserie tanning, ask to join in on a volleyball game or start throwing a Frisbee around (just alert your nearby sunbathers first so you don’t wind up with several rhinoplasty bills). However, if you were blessed with two left feet or the hand-eye coordination of a preschooler, leave the ball sports to those who can aim away from the slumbering elders.

BD_02_TOWEL-TERRITORYWords by Georgia Frances King Illustrations by Katrin Coetzer.

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