As gentle tides go rolling by,
Along the salt sea strand
The colours blend and roll as one
Together in the sand.
And often do the winds entwine
Do send their distant call,
The quiet joys of brotherhood,And love is lord of all.
A strange winter indeed. Storms lash the coasts, apocalyptic floods take out major towns and one small Welsh village gets 85 consecutive days of rain. Meanwhile, over here on the east coast it's been a bit breezy occasionally.
Yesterday the sun shone brightly and the winds dropped from forty mph to about ten and it seemed too good not to go for a stroll. Get out there and walk along the beach. I wandered down to the beach and turned to the east and started off briskly with any breeze behind me and gently pushing me along. Along the way there were a few fishermen, quite a few dog-walkers and one beachcomber hoping for treasure but just finding old tin cans by the looks of it.
So I bought some alien looking fish which looked so weird and beautiful that I had to have them. There were only three and as that was how many I needed it just had to be. When I got these Gurnard I realised that I had no idea what to do with them but a quick Google came up with a Hugh Dick Furry-Whittington recipe, he of the River Cottage, and much hilarity ensued as the family wrestled with them to take the bones out and remove their heads. Mrs Dave reckons that looking at them from the underside made them look like the face-hugger from Alien.
A pint of Suffolk's finest and a decent sandwich whilst I completed a crossword in the local hostelry later and I was ready to yomp back home. Facing the breeze and with the sun having moved on a bit so I wasn't blinded I worked up a fine head of steam home. I thought afterwards that I would have killed to have spent a day like that when I was young. I had winter fields and woodlands to walk around but not the sea and rivers. The bird life was fine when I was a kid but having the chance to see such things that I still find exciting made it a good day.
And that's the point really. I haven't written this to gloat because I don't go to work any more. I guess I just wanted to revel in taking simple pleasures and still being able to get excited by the natural world, much as I did when I were a nipper. I love the American expression, "Some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you" and that's how it is. Today wasn't so wonderful what with a leaking toilet and irritable boiler syndrome but at least I can think back to the sheer joy I felt yesterday.
* I mean they are old enough to be drawing a State pension not just stopped working and collecting a teacher's pension.