Saturday, November 29

Sea Snail?

We spend the afternoon at Exmoth - here the kids and Zoe and Ava scream "the tide is out!" racing from the boathouse onto Lyme Bay. Due South is the English Chanel and West, across Devon, is the Atlantic Ocean. The high-tide is perhaps six feet above Madeleine while the sea comes in fast and hard: high-tides today are 7:38 and 19:57 while the low-tide now 13:30. In February, 2004, 23 Chinese shellfish hunters drowned not far from here at Morecambe Bay's cockle beds. They were eight miles out on foot. The other thing about this time of year is the bitter cold, not helped by the kids lack of wellies which I fail to bring despite Sonnet's urging. Within moments Eitan - who refuses jacket and scarf - is pink from the cold yet he refuses to relent: "I will not wear that jacket," which is a shame because not only warm but rather fashionable it is - I bought the damn thing in Paris. What can I do? After several hours of snail and crab hunting we end up at a true-grit caf which is one of the only locals remaining in an area undergoing rapid development. Willem tells me that most of the condos going up own by Londoners who spend little time here - consequently, the old fishing yards being deserted.