Episode one: Say hello to the Camberdoodles!
Just in case you’re not entirely sure, I’ll tell you what a doodle is. A doodle is a very curly hairy dog that comes in all colours, shapes and sizes. Their fluffy coats make them appear much bigger than their bodies really are. The only time you’ll see their true size is when they’ve either been swimming in the sea or got caught in heavy rain. When they are soaking wet their fur looses its fluff and you can see how slim and trim they really are!
The doodles in these stories spend much of their play time on the beach at Camber, and when you put the words “Camber” and “doodle” together it makes camberdoodle, and that’s why these doodles are the camberdoodles!
In case you don’t know it, Camber is a very special place right by the seaside. There is a very long beach of golden sand that stretches as far as anyone can see. At one end of there’s a cafe with a bucket and spade shop, while at the other is the river where Captain Ellis launches his lifeboat on windy days. Between the shop and river are the miles and miles of super sandy beach.
Behind the beach are the dunes, where the rabbits play, and after the dunes is the golf course, where no digging is ever allowed. The golf course is where the doodles must do grown up walking with leads and collars, and they can only go there with their furless two legged mummies or daddies, who are different from their doodle mummies and daddies. It’s not their most favourite of places because there’s never much time for sniffing or mooching, only walking in a straight line. To a doodle there never seems much point in walking in a straight line when there are always so many more interesting things to see and smell when walking backwards, sideways and round in circles.
You always know you are nearly at the beach when the smell of the seaside gets stronger and stronger, the air smells like clean clothes and cold fish fingers all rolled into one. When a doodle runs up the dunes to the very top they can see right to the edge of the world. Once they’ve surveyed all they want to survey, they run down to the beach for a doodle dash before doing a zoomie right into the sea.
To doodles it’s simply the most perfect, bestest place they can ever imagine. It’s the place where they are at their happiest and most kindest. If you’re ever lucky to come to Camber, look closely with your eyes wide open and you will see the doodles dashing across the beach.
Like Wembley is special for football and Wimbledon is special for tennis, Camber is the home of the doodle dash. For those who don’t know, a doodle dash is a game only doodles play. It’s a game played with two or more doodles who run in a figure of eight chasing each other until something else catches their fancy, and they stop dashing, and do something else like sniffing or chewing on a shell. This is when the dash is over and everyone wins. A doodle dash can start again at any time, often when the doodles get bored of chewing or sniffing, because doodles never do any one thing for very long.
There are five Camber doodles who are best forever friends. They never squabble and only say kind things to each other. They never forget each others’ birthdays or to buy Christmas presents for each other.
There is Dante, a little black boy who thinks he’s in charge and that he’s much bigger and braver than he really is. The others never tell him anything different as that would certainly hurt his feelings. Then there is Harley, who’s fur is as light as the sand on a sunny day, his most favourite thing is to dig holes in the sand that are deeper than he is, and often they are so deep he needs help climbing out. DeDe comes next, she is a tall, slim apricot girl, who is wise and knows all the words to all the songs. Phoebe is the smallest and has a light ginger coat, the same colour as the beach on a wet day. She loves to roll in the puddles and cover herself in dirty smelly mud. Lastly there is Lily-Poo, who was once a dark chocolate colour, but is now turning grey. Lily-Poo lives in a place far away called Chislehurst. One day, a long time ago, she came to the beach for a holiday and never wanted to leave. Chislehurst doesn’t have beach or seaside, so she decided there and then she would come for visits as often as she can.
Like many beaches Camber doesn’t have a shopping mall or a high street or a cinema, it’s simply a beach with the sand, the sea and the sky. So what doodles do today will be similar to what they did yesterday and probably the same as what they’ll do tomorrow. But it isn’t what you do that’s important, it’s how you feel that makes the difference. So if you’re in a happy place, whatever you do will make you feel loved and safe. This is what Camber does for the doodles.
Doodle days end when they are hungry or when the sun starts going to bed, they say, “night-night” before making their way home for tea.
© Copyright, camberdoodles
Image Credits: Vicki Batt .