Seizing the last of the light, we found ourselves at Rocken End, the entire stretch of pebbly beach to ourselves. The beach isn’t far from the road, but it is a twenty minute scramble from the car park through overgrown jungle-like landslip. Of course, the harder a beach is to get to the more magical it is.
With picnic dinner, coffee and a long leash for Rolo, we had the most deliciously chilled time. As we wandered the shoreline, throwing the frisbee and playing around, I collected a couple pebbles for my pocket.
The last time I picked up pebbles was two years ago on a sunrise trip to Culver Cliff. Those stones stayed in my pocket through everything. In the middle of winter, my hands braced against a storm, or reaching for my keys on a grey supermarket run; every time my fingers would brush against that smooth sunny memory. So when the last one finally disappeared a month ago our evening trip to Rocken End seemed a perfect moment to hold on to.
Do you collect flotsam on your travels? Ian McEwan returned some rocks to Chesil Beach after the public outcry over his beach theft. I don’t think a couple pebbles sitting in a pocket will tip the balance too greatly and carrying them with me makes me happy. Surely such simple pleasures are not the worst crime.