As opposed to mudlarking, which you do alongside the River Thames..
It's always interesting to see what you're going to find on the beach.
The white strip, for example, is a huge dump of tiny shells. I noticed someone had collected a load in a bucket, presumably to use in the garden to keep the weeds down, or for those strange Florida front gardens that don't have any grass and are perhaps meant to look like a beach.
Then, further away from the waves, was a big stretch of larger shells
Including one you could wear on your face...
Now this must have seen better days and some intriguing exotic climes.
And here was a very pretty crab, if that's not a contradiction in terms.
Later, I asked my expert friend, who confirmed that it was a calico, or leopard crab.
Then I noticed someone else had been there before me.
He was not on the beach, though not very far away, in the park down the road, enjoying a snooze in the sun.
But at the moment all I can think about is what I didn't find on the beach, which was my phone, lost on Saturday in a moment of inattention when it must have ejected itself from my pocket. In vain, hubby and I and various friends retraced my footsteps over and over again but never found it. I tried "Find Your Phone", courtesy of Google but it was too late. "Phone cannot be reached", it said pompously.
Getting a new one wasn't easy. For days we trailed from shop to shop, from the phone shop (you'll get a better deal at Walmart) to Walmart (sorry we're not allowed to deal with the phones. There are special phone people and they haven't come in yet), to Walmart again (oops, sorry, not in stock) to another Walmart some 45 minutes' drive away (oh sorry you have to go to the phone shop so you can keep your number) to another phone shop (can't understand why Walmart couldn't do it for you but here you are). Add to that a morning of driving around the various beach accesses to put up Lost Phone signs. When I switched on the new phone I had nineteen voicemail messages, all large expanses of silence with the occasional groan of exasperation, which I realised came from me trying to call my lost phone. All except the last one which was me leaving a message in some vain hope that a savvy finder would be able to get into my voicemail. So the loss remains a mystery. The phone could have dropped into the waves and be half way to Mexico by now. Or I'll find it next time I walk on the beach, new phone in hand. These tech things are works of the devil, as my father used to say.
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