Can you help me find an old book with an unknown title?

I’ve been haunted most of my life by a book I’ve never been able to identify. In the final year of junior school our teacher had an operation and while she was off recovering we moved in with the class across the hall. They were reading a brilliant book together, taking it in turns to read sections aloud. I loved it, but our teacher came back before we finished and in the end-of-term kerfuffle I forgot about the story. Later, when I remembered, we’d left the school and the book and its author were lost in time, like tears in the rain.

It’s about a boy who spends the summer holidays staying with his best friend’s family in their isolated house on a beach. There are legends of pirates in the area, and the boys discover they’re both dreaming the same dreams in which they’re taken back in time and actually meet the pirates. They take sides, the hero on the side of law and order and his now ex-friend in with the pirates. They fall out in real life, but try to keep their mutual antagonism hidden from the family.

That’s as far as I got. Anyone recognise it?

Another thought on Wallasey

The other day, after posting about my birthplace and mentioning that I

haven’t been back for many years, but for me the word home will always mean the smell of salty wet sand on Harrison Drive beach when the tide is going out

I thought about it some more and realised that if somewhere can still pull on my homesick strings but I never go back in person, maybe it’s a somewhen that I hanker for.

Not my mid-to-late-teenage angst years, when the threat of adult responsibility sat uneasily on my slim shoulders. And not my childhood, although we did used to go to the beach often when we were kids.

The when I get homesick for is my early teens, which was a fragile but hopeful time of wistful yearning for future possibilities. Like the Irish Sea seen from Harrison Drive beach, it all lay stretched out ahead of me.

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