Beach Life


We spent much of half term basking like pale lizards on the beach, barbequing and picnicking well into the evening on freshly made beef burgers, salads and thick slices of carrot cake. As half term drew to a close I found I couldn't let the beach go just yet, so yesterday after school we scarfed down a hasty salad supper and jumped in the car full of mirth and holiday.

It was already late and yet warm air came to meet us wagging its tail and the dense evening light bronzed our pale skin to loveliness. Fin, already dressed for the sea, crashed past me in a flurry of arms and legs and straight into the cold water, gasping and flashing his teeth with exhilaration.

I simply sat down to enjoy the afternoon's gentle retreat into evening and push my feet into the rough cornet coloured sand. 

The sea was a milky silver mill pond reaching out towards a hazy pale sky, where they met was almost impossible to discern and my eyes rested gratefully in the insubstantial distance, glad of the lack of focus.

A rich dip, dip of oars broke the lull in the waves as a sea kayak stole across the horizon. Right behind it a fishing boat sped towards the shore, scattering girls, each one smaller than the last, who crept up to each wave as it came to meet them and ran screaming with each predictable crash. Now they stood hands on hips and watched the fishermen pull their boat out of the surf and start the tying of ropes and heaving to rest for the night.

Eventually the pull of the distant hills became irresistible to the sun. Evening strolls were silhouetted against the strong light and rose grey sky. The girls danced in and out of the waves with gold glittering at their feet.

Fin had found a little boy called Sam to play with and was desperate to show me what they had been building. Their purposeful voices drifted over while they negotiated and then dared each other to go a little bit further into the freezing sea.

A little breeze stole up and turned the pages of my unread book as the children were replaced with a line of shore fishermen casting for mackerel.

Fin shivered uncontrollably as I rubbed him dry with a big white towel and his eyes shone with pleasure. Time for bed.

'Did you see me?' he said through his chattering teeth.

'Yes, Fin, I saw everything'