Two years ago I stumbled upon my own personal Holy Grail of beachcombing on Breton sands. It was the first sea urchin shell that I’d ever found in my entire forty five odd years on this planet. Unwisely I gifted it to Louis and within a day or two it was broken beyond the scope of a repair by Superglue. I reasoned that the fragility of these structures must be part of the reason, along with their comparative rarity, that they’re not a more common find.
So, we’ve been on a mission during our coastal excursions to find a replacement with no success until yesterday. Lo and Behold!, we found ‘Spike’ minding his own business in a deep-ish pool amongst the rocks at Lesconil, the nearest beach to our campsite. Unfortunately he wasn’t too taken with the idea of us keeping his exoskeleton as a souvenir as he needs its protective properties to stay alive. But he did acquiesce and allow us to gently lift him temporarily from his watery home and take a mugshot. Maybe this is a better memento of a trip than a lifeless piece of calcite.