I’ve been feeling more than usually grateful recently that we live so close to the sea.


Two minutes walk from home, the promenade is only crowded on a few, warm, summer Saturdays.  On a cold, windy Monday afternoon social distancing is not a problem.


The prom offers a smooth paved surface, good for a brisk walk (and for scooters or wheelchairs) but my feet are always drawn down the steps to the beach.


The soft, dry sand above the tide line makes heavy going.  Most people choose to walk on the firm sand near the water’s edge.  Among the newly sea-rinsed pebbles there’s always something different to catch the eye, an unusual colour, a strange pattern or simply a pebble that looks as though it would fit comfortably in your hand and pocket.


As the tide falls a band of water worn rock emerges from the foam.  The rock here is regularly scoured by the shifting sand so no seaweed or barnacles colonise it.


In low sun the banded sandstone glows in a spectrum of warm colour.  Not today, though.


At the end of the beach a flight of stairs lead up to the promenade.  Often that’s my return route but today I climbed the steep path to the cliff top.  Time to head for home.