Two thirds of the windows of our half-term holiday let are filled with sky, the remainder with the rise and fall of the tide in the estuary. Just up the road, great rollers unfurl onto the shore with plumes of spray like clouds of steam against an autumn sky that pivots between gun metal grey, rainbow bolts and sheer bright, blue. The children bounce through the surf, jumping and laughing with each dunking. Among the dunes, we pull ourselves free of our wet suits, and rub ourselves red and dry.
The windows of the local chippy are steamed up like the cab of our pick-up truck. We don’t mind. We are warm and tingly happy. We stuff hot chips into our mouths and snuggle up together to watch a film.
The next day I find two conkers and a limpet shell in the rubber seal of the washing machine. There is enough sand in the pick-up to start our own beach. We carve cat faces into pumpkins from the farmer’s field and make pumpkin muffins with the scrapings by the lanterns’ flickering light.
Sometimes I wish I could make time stand still.