Saturday, 7 August 2010


I was brought up in sunny Southend-on-Sea and spent lots of my childhood playing on the beach about twenty minutes walk from my home.  Okay the oill refineries on the Isle of Grain did not provide the  scenic backdrop that I had on my recent French holiday at the beach of Ster Greich but it didn't really affect the level of pleasure that I got from beachcombing on the miles of beaches accessible to us.  East Beach at Shoebury was particularly good for rich pickings of sea glass.  My entire family were roped into collecting driftwood to burn on the fire at Southchurch.  And with the addition of a metal detector the beach at Thorpe Bay provided useful supplementary income to my pocket money. 

The pleasure that I get from this activity has never gone away.  I've collected boxes of bits and pieces; glass, shells and tiny bits of wood rubbed smooth by the sea.  These might come in useful one day for some creative endeavour.  And I marvel at the creatures that I encounter during my searches, having particular admiration for the feisty crabs that are prepared for a fight as they are loaded into Louis' bucket after he gets bored of this beach based version of  'Hunt the Thimble'.

This is the first ever sea urchin shell that I've found.  It was in perfect condition when discovered in a Breton rock pool. Then selflessly I gifted it to Louis and shortly afterwards he  dropped it on the floor of the motorhome.   Still once I've mustered up the dexterity to mend it,  it could take pride of place in one of next term's 'Show and Tell' sessions.

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