It’s little wonder wetsuit hire companies do so well in Cornwall – the sea is like an icebath ❄️

Toes hold on to sand far beyond the beach,

Hose it off, yet it still grips.

The hiss of the breaking waves,

Relentless in their takeover of the beach,

Flattening castles built with effort

Throughout the days by enthusiastic toddlers

As the sun moves effortlessly across the sky.

Mothers with sleeping babies

Wrapped in body carriers and nuzzled close,

While dad’s run ragged after siblings

Attempts at cricket lasting a few minutes

Before squeals of delight that the ball is lost.

Crunching gravel as cars arrive and depart

Coins chinking onto palms in exchange

For takeout cappuccinos, a taste of home,

A pick me up, lip-smacking sighs of appreciation.

Older people sat in beach chairs,

Panamas still the most stylish form of shade.

Dogs panting, seagulls cawing, children crying

From stubbed toes, lost ice creams, tiredness.

The sounds of summer. I sneak to solitude

An empty holiday house, a rock in a cove,

A book page slides between my fingers,

And the sea and a more distant rolling sound,

Reminiscent of a lullaby