Blood sports

Trundling down the pier at ten miles an hour (you get clocked and booked if you go any faster) I have ample time to look left and right. The tide is at its lowest, exposing a feast for both the gulls and the fishermen preparing for this evening’s marathon.
When I was young and eager I would carry the bait bucket around Player’s beach – a caddy for a contest which swapped club for rod.
Time moves on, the tides are ever-shifting in this game of life that we play out on the sands of here and now.

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The place to be

A stroll on the beach is accompanied incongruously by pounding europop and the gentle swishing sounds of the sea. Funny how the different sounds take precedence depending on the way you are facing. We leave behind the visiting funfair and walk into the rapidly cooling evening air. The beach is populated with small groups of evening fishermen and families taking their dogs for a last walk like us. Luckily Rosy doesn’t spot the tempting mackerel which sits, trophy-like, beside the first angler that we pass. We laugh and agree that it wouldn’t have been around to admire for very long – hungry spaniels are not fussy what food they snaffle!
We come back to a supper of cheese and biscuits and some bottles of beer; I feel relaxed and happy yet also a bit sad that my visitors leave tomorrow. I will miss them.

Eventide

Tourists stroll along the esplanade in the balmy evening half-light while on the beach a lone fisherman casts his line into a sea that barely moves. The calm waves gently wash the stony shallows free of their seasonal debris and then ebb back to the mass of the ocean with hypnotic grace. Soon there is no sign of the sandy battlements so carefully created just a few hours before.
We have our share of visitors to this Island; some vow to return when they have finished their life’s work – some, like a fish, get caught by its lure never to leave these shores.

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