Yesterday I went beach combing for the first time in what seems like ages. It was just on a whim really. We were on our way home from doing the shopping. By that I mean my wife was doing the shopping. I'm not allowed in the supermarket. She thinks that's her idea but was in fact the result of careful planning. I didn't have to 'participate' in very many shopping trips before she stamped her foot at my antics and confined me to the car :) Now I get to sit in the car park with a book while she plays dodgems with the trolley and competes in the 'checkout wars'. Besides, it all adds to the magic of her kitchen mysteries if I don't get to see the basic ingredients.
Anyway, we were on our way home when I suddenly decided to take a different turning and go to the beach instead. We couldn't stay long, not with a car full of frozen food, but it was great to walk along the sand again. I've avoided the beach, pretty much, over the summer. I don't like its sanitized, high season feel. But now the holiday makers have mostly headed home, it is peaceful again.
There is nothing like picking my way through the sea weed to make me really appreciate how lucky I am to have all this on my doorstep. Whenever I start to take it all for granted the smell of the sea comes along and clips me around the ear and reminds me that life is good. We didn't have time for a good root around but I still came home with a couple of really interesting pieces. I think they will make fantastic carved tops for staffs, but I'll give them time to dry out properly and then see what they have to say.