Sometimes, time by sea is just a necessity. After winter months of long shifts, flus and coughs that just linger and linger and go away only to return with a vengeance, getting away - if just for an hour or so is needed. I need space and the sand beneath my feet. The kids just need to be outside.
My in-laws took our Diva on a shopping mission and we took advantage of all fitting in one car to hoist the faithful (oversized) hound into the car - and escape to the shore.
It's our closest beach, and one of my favourites, familiarity has increased affection as we discover hidden treasures.
Our gentle wolf is ecstatic to run with other dogs and the kids run off exploring - finding hermit crabs and superior sticks.
We meander until we find the stick house and enjoy the gift of some dedicated unknowns labour. When we first started coming it was a simple construction - now it has a entrance way and a proper room. A house? A love-shack? A prison?
My Adventure Boy is presently obsessed with sticks and building stick houses (often when he should be in class) so I lured him to the beach with the promise of architectural splendour, and luckily, he's not disappointed.
Our Wonder Girl is dedicated to trying all the different types of sand. Is it all crunchy? And if she perseveres will she find some with flavour?
This walk always sets me imagining - the expanse of mudflats, the mangrove swamp behind, the river-mouth close by, all seem to invite a story.
Apocalyptic? A place to survive when all else fails?
Or turn to the past Historical? What would it have been like to be an early settler, in those stiff, corseted clothes and long skirts, in this landscape? It's pleasant now, and close to the sea with the breeze bearable most of the year, but a little inland and in the long summer, the sweltering heat and mosquitos are oppressive. In an atmospheric kind of way - the summer storms glorious when they come bringing short relief.
Of course, twists would be needed... To bring in the fantastical, the romantic - to use the land but not the true story that was hard, brutal and uncompromisingly tragic.
Still twisting all the aspects in my mind, I turn back to my little wild ones. I should probably save the Cheeky Monkey from her prison sometime soon.