Friday eve, Hunstanton
The sea is dragging its chains tonight
out-of-tune hounds baying in the fog
lunging at broken walls
detonating a salvo of sound-bombs
a trip-wired mine-field barbed with salt
ghostly no-man's land
shaking ruffled skirts along the shore
a ragged chorus-line staggering
into a memory of the can-can
The sea is a doubtful rumour this morning. The world beyond the cliffs vanished into fog. The muffled quiet of the strand is unbroken by wandering beach-combers and dogs. Even the rotting of its cast-offs is muted – more scent than stench today. It is a dream-scape in which time drops away: soft footfalls thudding into sand, a flock of birds cheeping tiny as insects. A long-ago tide heaped this border of razor-shells – pink claws of crab, limp star-fish, bloated wrack – dark clods of sea-peat from another epoch. I scavenge a few scooped shells the colour of amethyst, coral, porcelain blue – and a tiger-striped feather. As the winter sun cuts a disc in the gloom, we trudge back to the pier before we too are emptied.
We stayed at a wonderful B&B barely 2 minutes from the sea - Cori House. And Hunstanton's multi-coloured cliffs and endless beaches were no less enchanting in November's fog. Terrific swoops of starlings at tea-time too.