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the beach to seasalter

Avoiding rain by staying in bed with cups of tea, chocolate, various cheeses of distinct smelliness, perhaps to have arisen early when the sky was lifting. Bedeckt is the German word for overcast, it sounds as if something has been nailed down across the sky. We prepare to leave, the greyness lowers, a pause for more tea.

Outside is cold and sharp. I confess to a delirious addiction to this, and so we walk again through the paths towards the dyke huts – which really are – and this time west, towards London, or at least the muddier and less exposed parts of the Thames estuary. The groins are full of a slapping tide, not yet ready to fall as it is pushed onshore by the wind. The sky hangs with pendulous black clouds amidst the untidy grey, not infrequently disposing of its load upon us.

Further west. Faversham, where we have not reached nor will this week is home to the Islands’ largest repository of apple trees. I’ve been reading about these and their Kazakhstan history in Wildwood. The sky hands lower, just to walk a little further to the lone dark wood house at the end of this curve of the pebble and stone strewn beach. Seagulls swarm and wheel above, hovering on the north wind, gathering in ever larger crowds, waiting. The tide retreats some more, a flat gravelly island comes out of the water and here they dive towards.

We turn back, a vast dark occlusion stalks above us, walking the beach it stings, pricks, strikes, tries to blow us over. A delight in the shock of feral elements normally seen from within somewhere safe, inside, though glass. We decide in our wetness though, the third time in three days we find ourselves in this state, to walk home along the road. Almost lost, not sure if it will lead us astray. The yellow traffic diversion signs and a street name, Joy Lane, lead us back to food, chocolate, my last night in Whitstable.