To me it was a no brainer. The landlady at our B&B said, when the tide’s out you can walk the first mile or so on the beach, missing out two steep climbs. A win on every front. Poppy said nothing.
On the way down the hill we met two small boys who asked if we were going to the beach. I said yes and Poppy said nothing. The older boy, whose name was Daniel, said, I want to find a fossil. His younger brother said, I want to find a crab as big as Daniel. When we’d stopped laughing and the boys had run off to their parents, Poppy said she didn’t want to go along the beach. So we separated – I took the low road and she took the high road, and I was at Stoupe Beck before her – but realised I’d dropped the dog lead on the beach and had to go back for it.
was blue. There was the constant sound far below of waves on the shore, and seagulls flew above and below, calling into the still air. The salt mingled with the toasty coconut smell of gorse. If it hadn’t been for my trousers rubbing and my sore left toe, it might have become something of a meditative state.
away. The sunny weather had brought them out and the air was full of them. They liked the suntan oil on Poppy’s arms. Poppy didn’t like them and complained vociferously until they went away, which was after a mile or so. She then cheered us both up by imagining a nature programme about us, narrated by David
Attenborough, saying things like this: In general the species Homo Sapiens is known for its endurance, but this plague of flies is proving too much for the young female. She walks ahead of her mother mewling in protest.
at Robin Hood’s Bay in the early morning light, listened to the seagulls and thought it was a sound I would happily live with.