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Friday 3rd July – Another Zoom meeting announcement

Happy Birthday to Angie Money and to Mark Fryer in California!

Every Sunday, at 19:30 BST, I host an informal zoom meeting by a number of speakers whom I would like to be speakers during the Second Weekend in September 2020.

This Sunday I would like to invite you to Rikus van Veldhuisen’s Informal Zoom meeting entitled :

Magical Tanzania
– a presentation about my latest trip to Tanzania in last January with a lot of Euphorbias’

Time: Sunday July 5, 2020 07:30 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 876 8335 3817
Password: RikusvV

I have a Zoom Pro Account that allows for up to 100 attendants. Like any cactus meeting, when the hall is full, there is no more space. Please email me if this should happen to you. If this should happen a lot, than I can look into alternative solutions.

Zoom has a ‘record’ function that can be operated by the host, for host and speaker to both learn from these informal meetings and are then deleted. Many speakers do not give permission to record the talks, so if you have unfortunately missed the meeting, do not embarrass me to have to refuse your request. If you know that you will have to miss a future meeting by all means contact the speaker and ask them to grant me permission to record their talk. After the meeting, I can send the copy to the speaker and let them distribute them as they want. Files are quite large so you may need to use free software such as WeTransfer to send the files. Without explicit written instructions from the speaker, I will ignore requests.

In these days of the Covid pandemic, I am happy to learn and gain experience of Zoom meetings by paying for the Zoom licence out of my own pocket. I would encourage everyone who attends these or other hobby Zoom meetings / presentations either by the BCSS or any other hobby organisations to share lessons learned.

Friday, 26 June 2020

Another Zoom presentation announcement

Every Sunday, at 19:30 BST, I host an informal zoom meeting by a number of speakers whom I would like to be speakers during the Second Weekend in September 2020.

This Sunday I would like to invite you to Wiebe Bosma’s Informal Zoom meeting entitled :

Best of Asclepiads in habitat
– a selection of habitat picture of Stapeliads from southeastern Spain, Socotra, India and Ethiopia

Time: Sunday June 28, 2020 07:30 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 896 4374 5681
Password: 150573

I have a Zoom Pro Account that allows for up to 100 attendants. Like any cactus meeting, when the hall is full, there is no more space. Please email me if this should happen to you. If this should happen a lot, than I can look into alternative solutions.

Saturday 20 June 2020 Sunday’s Zoom Presentations

To celebrate tonight’s Summer Solstice event, I thought I’d try a new approach for inviting friends past, present and future to informal Zoom presentations on any Cactus or Succulent Plant related subject.

These presentations came about as I had a crazy idea to fill the gap left in my calendar for the Second Weekend in September 2020 with a series of Zoom presentations by various speakers randomly selected from my circle of friends. Most people may not realize that there is quite a bit of preparation for such presentations rather than the 45 minutes or so that you see on the day.

Giving your presentation via Zoom is quite different to setting up your computer and projector in your club’s hall and watching with your audience what appears on the screen (or sometimes a plain white wall).

Yes, you still play your presentation on your computer, but what does your audience see and hear? Is your internet connection good enough to upload your program that may include music, video, 3D images and video? Does the Grandfather clock next to your computer interfere with the sound that the audience hears? What about the pump of your aquarium? Are your kids planning a party while you’re planning to entertain your audience? Who knows, we’re all learning! We’re not afraid to try out new things – and fail, and learn how we might overcome the challenges.

To work towards excellent presentations on The Second Weekend in September 2020, (SWiS2020 for short) I’ve set up these informal Sunday meetings. Initially I wanted to keep the audience small. If you want to present your last trip to Cactus Country, you might like to invite the friends who went with you. I wanted to invite a few friends with far more experience in the use of ZOOM to help out when things go wrong. Since then the audience has grown, as due to the need to isolate during the Coronavirus pandemic, people run out of things to do.

I intend to use these Blog pages to announce the details of the invite to the informal Sunday Zoom meetings.
Paul Klaassen is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Madagascar 2016
Time: Jun 21, 2020 07:30 PM London


Meeting ID: 889 9489 6983
Password: PKentertai

I have a Zoom Pro Account that allows for up to 100 attendants. Like any cactus meeting, when the hall is full, there is no more space. If this should happen a lot, than I can look into alternative solutions.

The actual trip that this presentation is based on is included in my Cactus Trip Diaries starting at https://pkcactus.info/2016/10/15/

Saturday, 23 November 2019 Pichidangui to Aeropuerto Santiago

We all finished our packing and were ready to embark on our long journey home at 11:00. There was just one last formality to complete after we had shaken hands with the retired owners of Hotel Rosa Nautica and their daughter who had taken over. This was of course the final (until the next time) goodbye to ‘my garden’ on the rocks overlooking the Pacific waves crashing on the beach. A quick look at the three different taxa of Eriosyce that grow here confirmed that flowering was over, a bit earlier than usual, I belief. I’ll enjoy looking up dates and flowering reports of previous visit to this location in the build up to Christmas 2019.

We still had the issue of finding a car wash to resolve so that we could return the Suzuki to Andres in a good state. We considered driving to the Copec to check if they had a car wash and if it was open, but that was some 10 km farther away along R5, in the wrong direction. There will be other Copec stations on the way to the airport where we could get the car clean and pick up a hotdog as well.

Although the number of fuel stations along R5 has increased greatly since 2001 and cars have become more economical they were still reasonably scarce, with more appearing on the other carriageway, heading north, than along the southbound one. They increased as we got closer to Santiago, but here most seemed to have suffered damage by the recent social protest activities, so that they were either burned out or boarded up. This was also the case at my usual stop at Llay-Llay, where the wind seems to always much harder than elsewhere. We filled up the tank for the last time so that the fuel gauge level indicator would match that of the car when we picked it up from the airport three weeks ago. No car-wash obvious, but fortunately my craving for hot-dogs was satisfied by a mobile emergency stand.

I had been quite chuffed with my ability to find most places we wanted to go without the use of my trusted Garmin Nuvi SatNav. Ian’s mobile phone had a TomTom App that had been useful to add some fine detail at some locations, but by Ian’s own admission, he was not very experienced in its use when it came to finding the right turn off from the now busy R5 for the Aeropuerto, so we became familiar with some more of Chile by me taking a wrong turning so that we were now heading west towards the coast again. The car must have misunderstood – yes we do like to be beside the seaside, but now the airport was our priority.

Ian and his phone soon got us back to the right road so that we arrived in very good time for our drop off of the car. Al and Angie plus the luggage were dropped off at Departures and Ian and I drove on to the massive roadworks in progress that will, in time, be a beautiful multistory car park. Finding Andres’ associate to hand over the car, the keys and the car park ticket had in the past always a bit stressful, as by now our minds were firmly fixed on getting our luggage checked in and settling down to a final Pisco Sour and checking on the departure times of our flights. Ian’s mobile that had worked the best in Chile was a great help. It photographed the final readings of the milometer, the fuel gauge, the block and row number where we left the car and the ‘for the record’ shot of me kissing the car as thanks for the reliable and comfortable service that it had provided during the last three weeks. Thank you, Andres and his team.

As usual, I like to have plans for my next trips already planned by the time that we get home. Currently plans are for a trip to Baja California sometime in February / March and another trip to Chile in November 2020. In between there will be short trips to Germany to visit Angie’s family and to the Netherlands to visit friends and of course, to the annual cactus festival at E.L.K. in Belgium in September. All plans are HaWP (Health and Wealth Permitting) as always.

PK thanking our rental car as we return it at Santiago Airport.
Photo Ian Thwaites
Thank you, Andres!

Thursday 21 November 2019 Vicuna to Pichidangui

Yes, the original plan had been to stay the night in Ovalle and from there head to Pichidangui, my traditional first and last stop in a Chile trip but we arrived in Ovalle around 16:00 hrs so worked out (still without my trusted SatNav that we could be at Hotel Rosa Nautica by 19:00 and still enjoy a hot-dog at Los Vilos.

So what did we do for the rest of the day?

S3872 started as we crossed the very long single lane bridge from Vicuna to the main La Serena to Argentina border. Yesterday and the day before Al and Ian had uttered enthusiastic oohs and aahs at the spine length of the Echinopsis/Trichocereus species (E. chiloensis) in the valley of the Rio Elqui

Even before we reached S3873 we started to see large Golden Balls, Victoria Beckham’s nickname for her husband David.

I looked around the hillside and nominated a large E. aurata that turned out to be in flower once I got to it. The substrate here is medium sized stones that are keen to continue their journey down the hill side once humans step on them. With bad knees and hips and a sore back, my back muscles were soon in spasm so that it was a slow journey to the second nominated plant and from there to the third and so on. Al seemed to just skip along from one plant to the next while Angie looked for old favourites from previous visits to take their pictures. After quite a while and only having taken pictures of some 4 plants i decided that a better option for me was to return to the car and take more images from the backseat, through the window.

S3874 is for images as we drove through the Vade de Morrillos to Seron, through the densest stands of Trichocereus chiloensis that I know off. Particularly when a telephoto zoom lens is used to foreshorten the stems, the effect is impressive. It seems that due to the dryness the spines had kept growing while stems were thinner through water loss. Al also found some Eriosyce, probably Neoporteria sp., where the spines had grown inwards to protect the plant from the brightest sun and reduce water loss through evaporation. The sun was just at the correct angle in the sky to produce some great pictures. I tried uploading some of these but again, the band with of the WiFi facility was too low for three cactophiles to perform such technical trickery.

The drive to Ovalle, where we intended to stay the night, was longer than I remember and we could easily have gotten lost in Ovalle at rush hour. So the sign ‘Santiago – 365 km’ pointing towards Ruta 5 was a great incentive to change our goal to Pichidangui (and a Hot Dog at the Copec near Los Vilos).

He had dinner in Restaurant Pichidangui, where in 2009 (?) a bunch of us celebrated the New Year with a meal and Pisco Sours, the promenade crowded with Argentinians enjoying their annual break at the seaside and a firework display over the bay that put many displays from international capitals to shame.

I finish today’s report with a thank you to Al for a hard driving day through the mountains, on slippery gravel tracks. Well done!

Friday, 15 November 2019 Taltal to Cifuncho

We took the coast road from Taltal to Cifuncho. Again, we made a familiar stop near the Quebrada Bronce (S3847). There were some Copiapoa cinerea subsp. columna-alba, but we’ll see much better stands later. There were also small clumps of Copiapa taltalensis here – all very dry! Of course we sang the chorus of ‘We do like to be beside the seaside’! – our theme tune for this trip!

Next, at S3848, the clumps were larger – Copiapoa taltalensis subsp. desertorum = but I’m still not convinced that there is a close affinity with C. taltalensis. For me I prefer the name C. desertorum until detailed DNA research sorts this issue once and for all. Also here were clumps of Nolana sp., in flower. Although they are not ‘true succulents’ that are considered to use their leaves and pachicaul stems to store water during periods of drought, these plants’ leaves shrivel up when they need water.

Nolana sp.

Our next stop was just past Cifuncho in search of a plant that we called ‘Benjy’s Plant’ as Benjy Oliver first showed us this plant on our trip in 2001, 18 years ago. It is also known as ‘Copiapoa ‘ sp Cifuncho’ but for me it is the northernmost form of Copiapoa longistaminea.

Ian posing with Copiapoa longistaminea – Benjy’s Plant

Later today we’ll see this taxon again, at its southern most stop at ‘Puma Bay’, then in the Quebrada Huanillos (Quebrada Guanillos), Quebrada Tigrillo and Quebrada Madera. At Puma Bay, C. longistaminea grows alongside C. grandiflora where the two taxa are very distinct. As we visit the quebradas farther north, hey seem to ‘morph’ into one single taxon. Rudolf called a northern location ‘Confusion Hill’, for obvious reasons, but this year there was no time to visit that spot.

For some reason, Benjy’s plant was always keen to play a game of hide & seek – Angie and I were convinced that we could find it without the need for a GPS and eventually we did! It’s a beautiful plant in a spectacular location, overlooking guano covered rocks just off shore.

Al covered a larger area, including at the foot of the hill between our spot and Cifunco and found many more plants. I did not see those this time – the rocks were quite difficult, loose and not very stable – not easy with a touch of arthritis in my knees and hips and a bad back. I promised myself a closer look next time, possibly in 2020.

I suddenly felt unsure on how to get to the locations for the day – there were quite a few excellent stops in this area, but how to get to them without a SatNav system! I saw a sign to Minas Las Luces, my first clue. We drove through an inland Quebrada and I remembered seeing an Eriosyce here – Eriosyce rodentiophila or is it E. megacarpa? If only Roger Ferryman was to finish off his Eriosyce book to clarify the names of these plants!

S3850 Eriosyce rodentiophila

S3851 was for Ritter’s type locality for Copiapoa cinerea subsp. columna-alba. A few years ago, Rudolf Schulz had tried to take a photo of the exact plants that Ritter had photographed here and that featured in Kakteen in Südamerika Band 3. Again we were overwhelmed by the large number of plants here, but the star of the show was Eriosyce (Thelocephala) esmeraldana, with a flower stuck above the soil giving away where other plants were seen on previous occasions, this time hidden below the soil.

The Copiapoa columna-alba must have had some moisture as many were now in flower.

S3852 was our regular spot to say hello to Alan Craig, whose ashes were buried on the beach after he died of leukemia on 31 January 2001.

Alan William Craig R.I.P.
S3853 – Another plant, first photographed in 2001. The C. longistaminea has grown quite a bit faster than the C. grandiflora. The two taxa are very distinct, but farther north the seem to have morphed and almost indistinguishable.

We headed ‘home’ to Taltal, driving through the Guanillos valley and our last challenge – finding Copiapoa laui in the extreme drought! This time it was Ian who performed a war dance as he believed that he had found C. laui. Well done Ian!

S3854 Copiapoa laui – not in the best light conditions!

As we wanted to get back to the car, I had my only fall of this trip – nothing too dramatic. Everyone helped me get back to the car and got out the tubes of antiseptic creams. A trip down the rocks now seems to have become a part of any cactus trip for me!

Sunday 10 November 2019 – Bahia Inglesa to Chañaral

And so the car continued north, making a first stop of the day (S3828) at Quebrada El Leon, to see Copiapoa leonensis and Eriosyce (Thelocephala) odieri subsp. krausi (Ritter) Ferryman.

Plants extremely dehydrated, looking black (Copiapoa). As usual, the Thelocephala are hidden below ground and apparently less affected by the lack of water, so far. The Copiapoa leonensis still look like C. mollicula. When I have shown images to audiences in presentation in the UK, they thought that the plants were C. mollicula.

Despite the shriveled and blackened appearance of the plants, I take the Eulychnia that we saw to be E. breviflora, until at the beginning of the trail into the hills there were signs along the lines of the BCSS signs at Pichidangui, that suggests that this is Eulychnia breviflora subsp. tenuissima, I believe credited to Helmut Walter.

Next we stopped at the Orbicular granite exhibit (S3829), a rare geological feature, a plutonic rock type which is usually granitic in composition.

S3830 was past km 910, our usually stop to see Copiapoa calderana, but this time shot by, due to lorries hot on our tail! Good move Ian!

We took the next turning east, signposted to El Moreno, not a name that I’m familiar with, but probably a mine, 56 km inland. We made some stops around km 10 and found more Copiapoa leonensis and some C. calderana I assume, again, ID made difficult due to dryness.

And finally, on to the last stop before the hotel (S3831), at the stop that we christened ‘Hoot the Virgin’, as there is a monument here that now has small statues of presumed virgins on display. As Chilean drivers come by, they hoot their car horns, requesting a blessing. Ian and Al soon understood as the cars passed by!

And guess what, again the scene was extremely dry. We did find small plants of Copiapoa calderana var. spinosior – it seemed there has been more regeneration here during the last five years than elsewhere with quite a few small single headed plants the side of a large orange.

Were staying two nights in Hotel Aqua Luna, where we stayed before 2015, opposite a Chinese restaurant at the time. In 2015 the hotel had been badly affected by the floods. There was mud right up to the ceilings on the ground floor! Now everything is cleaned up and refurbished. There is a new Chinese restaurant three blocks into town, on the left hand side of the road. These last few details for Ian who is playing catch up with us.

Tomorrow we’ll see how the Pan de Azucar is standing up to these drought conditions and if Smiler has survived.

PS The server here is not uploading my jpeg files tonight – will try later.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019 – Los Choros to Vallenar

Yes, I know, they are a little (a lot!) out of synch, but it will all fall into place in time.

The plan for today had been to climb in a panga and be taken to two of the islands (Isla Choros and Isla Damas) in the Penguin Biosphere Reserve, north of La Serena. Cabanas, shops and the boats taking paying guests were were all in resting mode after partying during the recent Halloween festivities and the excitement and tension of the recent civil unrest. Many Chileans seem to have stayed at home to protect their property (?). Ruta 5 was practically empty.

After a cold night we woke up to the sight of flags flapping in the wind – not what we wanted to see! When we arrived at the harbour it was confirmed: too windy to make the trip!

OK, so over to Plan B: show my compadres ‘my’ Eulychnia chorosensis. Even in the poor light and their dehydrated state, they still looked like interesting, attractive plants.

Some years ago, Angie & I risked driving from Punta Choros across a barely marked track on very soft sand, but in a Toyota Hilux built for such challenges, to Carrizalillo. Now this was very easy on a smooth newly tarmacked road that would put most UK roads to shame. We finally found a shop open where we could buy some chocolate to replace breakfast this time.

The top quality tarmac continued all the way to Domeyko. Our second stop today was 17 km before R5 at the site for Copiapoa domeykoensis, said to be a giant form of C. coquimbana, in the north of that plant’s distribution area.

We hit R5 at Domeyko and headed north for Vallenar, where we missed the turning to our favourite cake shop and ended up on the road to Huasco. Never mind – cake would have to wait until later!

At Maitencillo we turned left on the track to Ojo de Agua for the third stop today for Eriosyce thelocephala lembckei. It really was very dry and the Eulychnia, Copiapoa coquimbana and Miqueliopuntia looked like shadows of their former selves. No Thelocephala found, although I feel sure that they were there, buried in the sand, laughing at us. Perhaps a but farther along? We we passed a sign to El Mirrador, offering a magnificent view? but now over chicken farms! All the previous plants mentioned were found, but no T. lembckei. I could hear the cakes calling my name at the R5 cross roads, so we continued back. Ian requested a quick look at a very similar layby with all the usual suspects and after some searching he waved to the car and begged us over. He had found Thelocephala lembcki, as small and hidden as I have ever seen them. Well done, Ian! Once we had spotted one plant, some two dozen more were readily found, but it is that first plant that matters!

For the 6th stop of the day I wanted to take us to the traditional Eriosyce napina site in view of the monster power station that burns oil pellets and spreads cancer among the people of Huasco. This has always proved a popular spot but this time there were wooden poles wrapped in barbed wire that blocked the road and it seemed that office buildings at the power station were still smouldering having been burned down, presumably by rioters.

We decided not to hang around in case of trouble and returned to Vallenar where this time we successfully made Stop 7 of the day: the cake shop!

We’ll be here for two – three more days so you may get a few more Diary updates.

Sunday 3 November 2019 Pichidangui to Guanaqueros

As Angie and I had not made it to the rocky shoreline at Pichidangui, it was time to catch up after breakfast.

S3798 was the usual place to see three species of Eriosyce growing side by side: Eriosyce chilensis (in flower), E. subgibbosa (not in flower as it tends to flower around May time) and E. curvispina (in bud, with some buds bursting open) as well as Eulychnia castanea (in flower). Not bad for a first cactus stop!

We moved to the southern end of the rocky shore (S3799) where BCSS funding had contributed to publicity signs alerting visitors about the treasures that nature had liberally spread along the coast here. We met a Chilean couple on their way to church whom I recognised as local conservation fans from the pictures published when the signs were first unveiled. They were Adriana Razeto and her husband Nelson, who kindly showed us around their garden and invited us round anytime that we are in town! They had produced similar posters to inform visitors about the birds and other wildlife at the coast.

S3800 was a side trip into the Fray Jorge National Park where we saw Eriosyce aurata, Eulychnia acida, Echinopsis (Trichocereus) chiloensis and subsp. skottsbergii, Cumulopuntia sphaerica before spotting our first Copiapoa, C. coquimbana (Ritter’s C. pendulina) near the beach at El Sauces at S3801, As a bonus, many plants were in flower!

S3802 was at Guanaqueros where we enjoyed a visit to the harbour where the local airforce of pelicans were sunning themselves in the setting sun.

Peruvian Pelicans at Guanaqueros, Chile.

Our usual accommodation at Cabanas Club Bahia had no space, as this was a long Chilean Bank Holiday weekend for Halloween, with the added confusion caused by the civil protests taking place throughout Chile. No Problem – there are many cabanas etc along this stretch and at the second point of asking we found comfortable accommodation for two nights at Cabanas Mar Azul with Carlos, from Venezuela, going the extra mile to get our cabana fit for habitation. Thanks Carlos!

Saturday, 2 November 2019 Santiago Airport to Pichidangui

It was great to be in Santiago Airport again! We worked our way through the snake of people queuing for immigration, picking up our luggage and seeing Andres Gabor waiting to greet us at the exit gate. I (and many of the other European Cactus travelers) have used Andres’ company LYS Rent-a-car since 2003 (credit to Brendan Burke for recommending him after we had less success with the rental car from a different provider in 2001.)

Andres greets us and treats us to breakfast at the airport – a lot more civilized than picking up your rent-a-car at other international airports.

And so, around noon, we set off, this time without my SatNav! I had picked up the wrong one at home – the one with USA and Mexico data, rather than the South American on. So I missed the turning on Vespuchi to R5 – El Norte, but soon found a retorno to correct the matter.

From the airport, Ruta 5 – the PanAmerican Highway – runs inland heading north. Around Longotoma, some 200 km after leaving the airport, the road turns west and comes down a couple of hundred meters to the Pacific Ocean. Since 2001 it has been a tradition to burst into song as soon as we see the Ocean. First with that popular tune ‘Oh I do love to be beside the seaside’. As the waves appeared, Ian Thwaites, Al Laius, Angie and I burst into song, followed by the chorus of Cliff Richard’s hit from the 1960s ‘We’re all going on a Summer Holiday! I would have mimicked, the Hank B. Marvin guitar solo, had it not been for the fact that I was driving. *

One stop, S3797 at Los Molles, the type locality of Eulychnia castanea. Lots of new tourist development here, at the expense of the plants!

Eulychnia castanea flowering on the rocks at Los Molles.

I was not feeling too well, so we went to Hotel Rosa Nautica where after five years away I was still recognised by the elderly owners. I presume that it was her daughter who was supporting them and spoke good English. While I had a cup of chicken noodle soup and a rest, Ian and Al found the rocks on the beach and the three taxa of Eriosyce that grow there: E. curvispina, E. chilensis and E. subgibbosa. The light was past its best, but we could always go back the next day!

  • As a bit of padding today, I thought I’d add the complete lyrics to ‘Oh I do like to be beside the seaside’ so that Ian Woolnough’s party can follow the tradition. Ian and Al must have misunderstood as several days later they still burst out into song every time they see the sea!
  • Ian is considering to make this the BCSS Theme song, to be song before every UK branch meeting, or did I get that wrong!? 🙂

Everyone delights to spend their summer’s holiday
down beside the side of the silvery sea.
I’m no exception to the rule, in fact, if I’d my way,
I’d reside by the side of the silvery sea.

But when you’re just a common or garden-working lad like me,
a chance to see the sea is quite a novelty.
I save up all the money I can while winter’s grim and grey
Then off I run to have some fun where the balmy breezes play

Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside!
I do like to be beside the sea!
Oh I do like to stroll along the Prom, Prom, Prom!
Where the brass bands play, “Tiddely-om-pom-pom!”

So just let me be beside the seaside!
I’ll be beside myself with glee
and there’s lots of girls beside,
I should like to be beside, beside the seaside,
beside the sea!

Timothy went to Blackpool for the day last Eastertide
To see what he could see by the side of the sea.
As soon as he reached the station there the first thing he espied
Was the wine lodge door stood open invitingly
Grinning to himself, he toddled inside and called out for a wine
Which grew to eight or nine, till his nose began to shine.
Said he ‘What people see in the sea, I’m sure I fail to see’
Then he caught the train back home again and to his wife said he

Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside!
I do like to be beside the sea!
Oh I do like to stroll along the Prom, Prom, Prom!
Where the brass bands play, “Tiddely-om-pom-pom!”

So just let me be beside the seaside!
I’ll be beside myself with glee
and there’s lots of girls beside,
I should like to be beside, beside the seaside,
beside the sea!

William Sykes the burglar he’d been out to work one night
filled his bags with jewels, cash and plate.
Constable Brown felt quite surprised when William hove in sight.
Said he, “The hours you’re keeping are far too late.”
So he grabbed him by the collar and lodged him safe and sound in jail.
Next morning looking pale, Bill told a tearful tale.
The judge said, “For a couple of months I’m sending you away!”
Said Bill, “How kind! Well if you don’t mind, Where I spend my holiday!”

Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside!
I do like to be beside the sea!
For the sun’s always shining as I make my way,
And the brass bands play, “Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay”

So just let me be beside the seaside!
I’ll be beside myself with glee
and there’s lots of girls beside,
I should like to be beside, beside the seaside,
beside the sea! ‘

The song was written in 1907 by John A. Glover-Kind and made famous by music hall singer Mark Sheridan who first recorded it in 1909.

It was, for a long time, used as a signature tune by Reginald Dixon MBE, who was the resident organist at the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool between 1930-70. For more detailed information, not related to cacti, check out the Wikipedia entry for the song title and you’ll be amazed!