It was windy yesterday so it wasn’t long after we left Woolacombe en route for Putsborough that the idea of the five-mile round trip lost its appeal. Middle child started collecting rope, string and tape from the forage line and tying them together. I joined in, and by the time we reached the other end of the beach we were trailing an enormous rainbow rope. We were about ten minutes behind our friends and family because some bits and bobs needed unravelling before we could use them and some of the knots were a bit iffy. (We were using reef when we should have been sheet-bending evidently.) More importantly, we hadn’t noticed the chill because we were busy. Lunch was warm and comfortable. The spectre of the return trip wasn’t. However, we took a different route and climbed up the dunes to get some shelter from the wind, and there we found this shell. Collecting is clearly in the genes. I filled my pockets with all manner of stripes and shades, once inhabited by snails. They’re going to join my collection of framed elephant tusk shells found only on Barricane Beach (unless anyone tells me otherwise). My daughter says I should fashion them into a snail. I’ll play around and see what looks best. That’s a nice job given that I spent 7 hours in A&E yesterday with the string collector. No complaints, the NHS is fantastic. God Bless Bristol Children’s Hospital.