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The Beach by Night

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The Beach by Night The last dying rays of the setting sun gave a fiery glow to the dark green sea stretching out smooth as glass from the curved sandy cove. The last summer evening walkers ambled languidly along the softly lapping shore, murmuring delight at the bright red sun settling slowly down amidst the golden cloud pillows drifting lightly across a turquoise, crimson and amber sky. An old man limped his barefoot way along the tide line leaving footprints in the sand that the quietly rising tide would so gently wipe clean. Gulls swept noisily past gliding effortlessly towards the sea wall and the orange glow of the towns' street lights, hoping to find one last snack of seaside chips before the darkness overtook them. Low down across the water, three cormorants flapped their silent way home, three black shadows silhouetted against a blaze of colour. Night fell. The ghostly moon waxed large and full, spreading a pale silvery light across the dull light sand. ...read more.


Orange spotted plaice flap quickly in little flurries of sand and then lie still in perfect invisibility. The placid sea is full of hunters and the hunted. In the late hours of night a breeze springs up, rippling the green blue desert. Waves lap, growing ever stronger hour by hour as the cold light of false dawn spreads across the sky. The moon has gone and the sea withdraws from the fresh washed sand. Dawn's harsh ice blue and pale yellow light peers slowly over the still sleeping town. The Beach by Day Mid-morning and the families and couples troop down to the golden yellow sands in straggling lines like overburdened donkeys sinking into the soft sand with every footstep. Wind breakers, multi-coloured parasols, deckchairs, picnics, cool boxes and of course the towels and rugs, fishing nets, buckets and spades, are carried on backs and in arms. Toddlers stop every few metres to begin their play, irritable voices carry on the light sea breezes, and a hundred decisions on the best spot are made and revised and changed again. ...read more.


A trail of people in caps and sunhats make their way backwards and forwards to the ice cream van or the beach caf´┐Ż nearby. Families sit round in groups munching sandwiches, drinking and laughing. The exposed mussel-strewn rocks are dotted with rock pool explorers crouching with their fishing nets and buckets. The pools are deep underwater gardens populated by strange spotted and stripy creatures and exotic fish. Swaying jungles of red, brown and green weed wave and ripple in tiny unseen currents. Shoals of darting green and silver fish flash swiftly between the sunlit shallows and the dark crevices and holes hidden from the sun. Children with nets silently stalk the waters, squealing with delight as their nets bulge with struggling crabs and prawns. Time slips away. Late afternoon and the beach is emptying. The tide reclaims the shore and the gulls scavenge the sand for picnic droppings. Tired children sulk and cry as parents pack up to go home. Buckets full of bright sea-washed stones and empty crab shells begin their journey away from the sea. The sea wipes the footsteps clean. Eleanor Scull ...read more.

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