Down on the coast gravity takes on new meaning; the usual doesn’t occur and the unusual is a regular occurence.
What am I on about? Sand of course. Coastal sand is ocean washed, golden and clean, and should remain safely on the beach where it belongs; but to the occasional visitor it behaves differently, has a mind of its own and gets everywhere and into everything; kicked up by feet, the wind, the rushing sea it flicks up into every conceivable nook and cranny; I found it in my clothes, my bag, my hair, my ears, even after a near vertical climb “home” it defied gravity and ended up on the sofa, the rug, the carpet, the mattress of our apartment. Even the winter Olympics got a bucketful. Ah well, c’est la vie, and at least I wasn’t cleaning up at the end of our visit.
The walks in the wintry sunshine along Porthminster, Porthmeor and Porthqwidden beaches of St Ives were fantastic if not hairy (with our lurcher dog running along side us, I might not have let him off so quickly had I known there would be so many bitches on heat; do they all “come on” together I wonder. A regular en masse half term doggy menstruation? Let’s hope we don’t leave a plethora of little lurchers behind.) It was good so early in the new year to touch base with the sea, to run wild and play games, tread the same beach that Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson trod.
The sea did everything it should, it sparkled, it glistened turquoise, it came in, it went out; it was in the air too making my hair thick and salty. The beaches were coated in the fresh tidal deposits of seaweed, shells and the odd trainer; they were mostly litter free, and pleasingly empty. Brisk walks were the menu of the day; heartily filling and great value. We’d sit supping our cappucinos on hotel terraces until the low sun disappeared over the horizon and we retreated back to the warmth of our hidihole. We could not grumble since we had achieved our objective – blown away the winter cobwebs, breathed in fresh sea air and – most importantly – seen no snow. Our little red noses concealed a healthy tan, proof of an outdoor existance – even though the rest of our bodies remained deathly pale. We were out to play when we should have been in; over running playtime, like a bunch of naughty school kids.
With rumours of bad snow up north and Cornish daffs peeping above ground, it was both hard and easy to imagine Spring fast approaching. Just as it was a bit of a surprise to find grains of sand on my pillow every morning, sand, like Spring, gets everywhere eventually.