Some places just seep into the silt of your imagination ...
Friday 16th November 3pm Low Tide
Sea mists rolling in from a grey horizon - grey skies swallowing the town long before dusk. Dark colours on the beach - strands of wrack livid as purple-black bruises on the green boulders. Gulls squabbling in a cleft above. The shore eerie as a Susan Hill story, desolate even with other beachcombers strolling in the gloom. Far off at the sea's edge, a line of groynes seem a spooky gathering of figures, watchers stilled with their own grave purpose.
Saturday 17th 11am High Tide
The waters just turned, sea mud slathered onto shingle, the waders smacking shells on the pebbles. One gull repeatedly swooping up to drop a hapless mollusc from the air, to hear its crack.
When we return after lunch in unexpected sunshine, the same sound-scape rises of march warblers, sea cacklers, bird calls curling up to haunt the foreshore. We crunch over broken razor shells, the barnacled feeding grounds. Striped and punctured bootprints between the spiky Vs of claw tracks and tiny fingers of sand, casts poked out by the worms below.
I follow silvered rivulets looping and unfurling like yarn in the sand to run into pools of skywater, blue puddles. At the tide-line, we are mesmerised as ever by the sprawling ribs of a wrecked boat, a skeleton that might have been Viking wood or gun-boat metal but is now welded by sea-creatures into their own thing.
As we turn for the harbour, we curve back into the fortified lines of vivid green rocks, the shambles of the cliffs - shattered red and white stone. A thunderous blue is moving across the glittering Wash and we know how quick it changes Hunstanton's skies. Only minutes from this surf-boom lies our retreat, Cori House. Time for afternoon tea and complimentary cookies at our favourite B & B.
Any time of year, this place enchants. Lucky me - this weekend by the sea was my birthday treat.