In utter contrast to what went before, the sky today is blue as far as the eye can see. To the beach then, with wellies, jeans and jackets, a bucket and spade and a blanket to keep the baby warm. I like the beach on cooler days, when the day trippers have gone for another year and our companions consist mostly of dog walkers and other mums - bracing the wind to please a child who digs in the sand with small chilled hands.
The sun is lower now, and I squint at the horizon while the nearly 5 year old runs in giant circles, arms wide and tilted to the sky. The sun is blinding, and my boy is a silhouette, like those of grainy cine films where golden lens flare obscures the scene. We are lucky here, this afternoon, with sand and sea and time to spare. A holiday from school in the autumn of a years leave from work. I chase over sands to catch my boy, and the baby laughs and reaches to the sky.
Held aloft, she can fly - my girl knows not of gravity or weight. She can soar and dip and follow the gulls. Who high above our heads, screech and wheel and dive, on a tide edging closer to the shore in the last of the watery afternoon sun... x