After weeks of foul weather, today smiles on us with sunshine and a cooling breath of wind. That breath is becoming a hot berg wind, though, and the heat is surely a warning that more foul weather is on its way. Nevertheless … the day feels like summer and it reminds me how enormously privileged I am to live here next to the sea.
So by 9am, I have downed tools – work can wait until later – and I’m on the beach, coated in sunscreen, with not another human in sight. The only fellow beach creatures (well, those that I can see anyway) are birds. It is, after all, a Wednesday morning.
I even have a quick dip, although the water is still on the chilly side. Mostly, though, I forage for things like shells, polished sea glass (did you know that the sea glass got that way because it’s been nurtured by the sea and sand for 20 to 30 years?), gnarled driftwood, and smooth rounded stones.
Some of the treasures get carted home, where they sit around the garden looking pretty. Sometimes, shells may have a practical purpose, like edging for a bed or pathway. Broken shells make fabulous mulch, especially in pots.
Some treasures and beach-found things become part of a mosaic or a mobile. I’ve just made a big mobile that hangs over a workspace in my office. It’s great inspiration for me when I’m doing something serious.
The flooded rivers – all this rain – brought down heaps of driftwood that has washed onto the beach, and a few pieces have found new life woven into my fence.Recently, I paid a man called Lub to dig out a stretch of grass for a new bed. He turned out to be so handy that he built a gate – from driftwood – for an awkward spot. I’m thinking of adorning it with a few strings of shells …