Listening to: Thick as a Brick (Jethro Tull, feel free to point and laugh)
Weather: sunshine, one brief shower
Surf: 3-4ft, clean with gentle offshore breeze
I went to the beach today. Nothing unusual. You have a job avoiding beaches on a small island 11 miles long and (where we live at least) a mile wide.
After a busy morning spent fretting over the new arrangements in the pig shed (will the bloody mortar never set?), I suggested to Mrs TPF we get out with the dogs, enjoy the sunshine, watch Mother Nature do her thing and so on.
Sal had passed the morning in a far more productive style than me, grooming Teddy the pony - a process that includes rubbing baby oil into his coat (I kid you not). She then stayed true to her Black Country background and sorted and tidied the pile of scrap metal that has been growing behind the house.
The upshot was that she felt the call of the sofa and a chick-flick, so I tucked her in and was off out with the dogs on my own. I bundled the boys into the Land Rover and ten minutes later I was at Grobust beach which, apart from sharing its name with a herbal breast enhancement product (honest!), is one of my favourites anywhere in the world.
It's the one on the header. . . lovely, isn't it?
It's changed a bit since the autumn. The bank of sand on the western half of the beach has been partly washed away and partly blown over the dunes towards the golf course, leaving the mothballed archaeological dig (an Iron Age settlement apparently - there's a clip on YouTube if that's what rings your bell) mostly covered.
At low tide a wide expanse of flat rocks are exposed and today they were busy with (at a guess) 70 oystercatchers, a few gulls making a nuisance of themselves.
It's the only beach on the island which holds a decent wave and then it's not that good that often. The strong winds tend to mess up the waves and most days they break so quickly that the take-off is for experts only. Today was a great exception, the lines pushing towards the shore, green faces of the waves peeling over neatly, a little spray coming off the top as they broke.
Walking east along the back of the beach, I stopped to look out in the general direction of Iceland while Spike fully investigated a rabbit hole and Owen sprinted here and there in vain pursuit of our fluffy-tailed friends.
The temptation to go in was strong, but there are strong rips at either end of the beach and a wicked one in the middle that will suck you a couple of hundred yards out without you knowing it - going solo is not an option.
And besides, it's still a bit chilly.