Screaming at the Sea on Worthing Beach

bearded man declaims to the sea, against sunset sky


And so that was Christmas. Or Hannukkah. Or just another holiday season. 

But have you noticed, my dear one, that nothing feels quite the same these days? 

Photo by Vladislav Murashko on

Have you noticed, my dear one, that nothing feels quite the same these days? 

This December was heavy with undertones and reminders of last December – when we were locked down, imprisoned in bubbles, frightened with the not-knowing and losing our trust in information. 

This December brought its own fears and non-knowings too, as people with symptoms couldn’t get hold of a test to check their status, and as we made, revisited, reversed and then re-made decisions about whether to mingle over the break – and who it would be responsible and safe do that mingling with. 

A time like this calls for something. As usual, Worthing provides, if you know where to go. 

Invented Rituals (That’d Be All of ‘Em, Then)

I’ve explained before that all rituals – that’s all rituals, sweetheart – are made up. This is bleedin’ obvious when you stop to consider it, but still, people hang on to ideas about ‘authentic’ and ‘invented’ traditions. No such thing. All invented. Trust me, I’m an anthropologist. 

You can read about one invented Worthing ritual here, along with the nerd-links I love to dish out just to




burning candles at praying place in church
Photo by Julia Volk on

Dec 30th brought us another Worthing ritual-in-the-making. Not, of course, the 53rd iteration, as the poster cheekily claims, with an ironic wink to those debates about ‘tradition’. But not the 1st, either. This is an event that has happened a few times now and is gently growing, year on year.

Scream At The Sea

It’s called ‘Scream at the Sea’ and here’s Joe Bunn the organiser’s introduction to it for 2021:- 

This year seemed to last even longer than last year, what with more lockdowns, weaker leaders, stronger smells, more pressure, faster life and less time for slowness. As ever, this year feels like it was 792 days long. So why not get down to the Sea on the 30th December and scream until your tonsils fall off?

That’s plain enough, isn’t it? 

This year feels like it was 792 days long

It happened. Some people went and did it. Part of the Woby household went. The dog stayed home, sulking because BEACH, people, BEACH without a walk? The cat said they’d stay dry and wait for the photos to come out. The young adults are all off doing their own stuff. 

I’d diary it in now for next year, if I were you.  You can’t imagine what you might have to scream about and offload by Dec 30th 2022. 

The sea is capacious, gracious, has heard it all before and can swallow it all up for you. 

Graham McKnight had to work, but sent this poem, which was screamed into the sea

a poem written to the sea in dec 2021 after another covid year.

We walked away light-hearted, grinning and raw-voiced. A mini catharsis before we try to party like it’s 1999 – which is probably not going to be quite possible ever again. A moment of time out before we step into 2022, slowly, carefully, on tiptoes and with a good deal of reflection and pausing before we react. We might have learned something over these past 2 years.

Joe Bunn declaims to the sea – photo @janered99

Published by Caroline

After 30 years as an academic anthropologist doing ethnography in India and the Gulf, Caroline now avoids airports and spends a lot of time walking, cycling or quad skating around for conversations and stories in their adopted home of Worthing. Caroline does public sector consultancy work and project evaluation, using creative research methods. Caroline also writes. Find them on Substack at (Yes, there's a WIP and yes, it's a campus novel, but hang on - it's not a memoir, and it's not a thinly-disguised writeup of people and situations. I studied creative writing, trained, practiced and ** made it all up**).

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