One good thing about the spell of hot weather is that it warmed the sea up enough to make the thought of swimming in it seem appealing. Most of my good ideas never get further than my mind, but last Saturday morning my brother and I went to the beach and into the water. He had a proper swim in deep water, while I wallowed in the shallows.
The breeze that took the edge off the late morning heat made the waves far too lively for me and my weak over-sensitive body felt quite panicked at first by the rapid, unpredictable movement of the water. I had to accept that wading out to swim wasn’t possible. I felt much safer, if a little foolish, sitting down with the water just covering my legs. Leaning back on my elbows I enjoyed letting my lower body rise and fall on the waves until I began to feel cold.
I wrapped myself up in my bathrobe and sat on the warm pebbles to recover from the excitement. It’s nearly 20 years since I last got more than my feet and ankles wet in the sea! And it’s been a few years since I did even that. Naturally I soon started sifting through the stones to see what I could find, popping a few shells and a pointy stone into my pocket as a souvenir of the day. I rarely go anywhere out of doors without bringing back something that’s caught my eye. A shell or a stone, a leaf, twig or seedpod, pieces of metal or plastic.
I haven’t done any sketch-bookery this week (yet), but I have had fun inspecting and arranging my little collection of beachcombings. I’ve collected several tooth-shaped stones like the one on the upper right over the years. I call them shark’s teeth, though I always suspected they weren’t really of animal origin.
Thanks to the internet I now know that it’s most likely a trace fossil formed in the burrow of a creature that lived in the chalk sea. A long time ago!