This morning I arose at least an hour earlier than I like to do, donned several layers of clothing (too many as it turned out), covered myself with waterproof layering, bid Dragon and Star goodbye and then headed off with Ady to the beach. Not to sit on a towel with a trashy novel and soak up the sun, not to frolick in the waves in a bikini or play volleyball.
Armed with a bucket and a couple of orange mesh sacks we headed to the shore line, dropped to our hands and knees and began winkle picking. Within about half an hour we were soaked to the skin. Turns out layers are not good unless you are dry. If you are wet it's just more layers of wet clothes clinging to you and keeping the wetness locked in (like a sort of anti stay dry lining in a disposable nappy!). Not so nice. It wasn't cold though. My nails got very chipped. My biggest annoyance was my furry hood which the wind kept catching and blowing up meaning I couldn't see. But winkle picking is okay. Nowhere near as grim as I'd feared. It's actually quite theraputic and rewarding and you have unlimited head space to dream, to sing songs to yourself, to compose new blog posts. Mindless, mundane and requiring nothing from your brain at all.
It's bloody tough on the knees though. We took the approach of staying on hands and knees and crawling along, head down. When I got home and stripped off I discovered both lower legs covered in bruises. Maybe knee pads are in order tomorrow!
We did just over 3 hours til the tide came in and then gratefully warmed up a bit with a cup of tea at friends who live on the beach front. The same friends who have lent us decent oil skin waterproofs to use tomorrow which we're hoping will make all the difference to the experience when we do it all again.
The boat was supposed to be early due to missing out Muck on the rounds because of bad weather. So rather than our planned nip home for some food and a change of clothing we went to the pier. The boat was actually pretty much on time so we sat in the car for far too long shivering and then there was nothing on the boat for us anyway. Very disappointing! We're waiting for animal feed (not desperate, just winter time cautiousness meaning we want to stay topped up) and a replacement power pack from a well known electrical retailer who are not being particularly good at their customer service or delivery promises but will hopefully remedy that fairly quickly. So that was a wasted wait.
All was made better by a hot shower, change into dry clothes, a hot cup of tea and some cheese on toast back at the static though. Ah, home comforts!
This evening we spent half an hour with some bods from the council planning department who were over and had a slot in their schedule to people in the community about planning issues. We went along with some questions and some ideas and were quite disturbed to realise that some of the things we assumed were givens may not be. I am confident we will find the way to build a home on our land but it appears we may have rather more of a fight on our hands than I had at first appreciated. Ah well, it's fighting for something we believe in.
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance.
-- Author Unknown