Did I mention I am home now? Hopefully for good, minus the odd week here & there when I have exams and such at the mothership. This weekend I am in fact home alone, with nothing but the company of various mammals, fowl and underwater creatures for company.
This afternoon I took the hound to the beach. He is, after all, a Beachhound. It was a hot day, but being late in the afternoon, a wind had arisen and driven most people away. Nevertheless, there was a clump of people deposited directly at the entrance to the beach, flopped like seals on an icefloe.
I kicked off my trusty Havs and strolled down the beach, dog lead over my shoulder, footwear dangling from my hand. The hound waited all of thirty seconds to poop on the sand, and as I pulled a plastic bag from my pocket in order to pick it up, another bag flew out and billowed (in a small and rapid way) toward the dunes.
Being an avid environmentalist, I sprinted after it, and thanks to a convenient clump of dessicated seaweed, caught up with it in less than 100 metres with only a minor twist to my ankle.
Luckily, the wind was strong enough to mean my journey back to the origin of the poop was a straight line. Although the hound had cleverly camouflaged his excrement to exactly match the sand, its unmistakable cigar-like form remained, enabling me to locate it and employ the miscreant plastic bag.
Not much wanting to add a bag of poop to my stroll, I tracked back to the dune-grass line, and left the bag in a prominent position, carefully noting its location for collection on the return journey.
Back to the walk. Strolling back down to the high-water line, I found a cuttlefish bone the size of a MacBook Pro. I picked it up to marvel at the size of the calamari rings its owner would have produced. As I marvelled, I wondered whether chickens like cuttlefish bones. Now that I am A Scientist of sorts, I decided I should put this to the test.
I returned to the poobag at the dune-grass line, and added the giant cuttlefish bone to the To-Be-Collected pile. I cavorted with the hound somewhat, thus distracting him from a miserable Retriever on a Halti lead, and we continued our stroll. Before too long, he pooped again.
I congratulated myself on having made the effort to chase the second plastic baggy. Knowing myself as I do, I decided I would be unlikely to remember the location of two bag-drops, so the second offering joined us on our walk to the calm end of the beach.
The water was deliciously warm, and on arrival at our destination, the hound and I disrobed and enjoyed some salt water time, much to the amusement of passers-by. Waves excite and repel him. He made all sorts of friends while I got thumped in the back by the chaotic distant cousins of a tsunami. I dried myself on my shirt and we headed back down the beach, poo-baggy and cap in hand.
About half-way down the beach I was enjoying my bare feet, when I realised that I had arrived in my Havs. Bugger. I searched the windswept landscape of my recent memory. The sprint. The Retriever. The second poop. A fishing float. When had I discarded them? No clues.
I was reasonably sure I’d have noticed them in the re-clothing part of the adventure, and decided against retracing our steps to the swimming end of the beach. Peering about the beach as we continued the stroll, I stopped to ask the hound’s new best friends if they had seen some missing silver thongs.
Sadly, they were of no help, though they did manage to crank out some jokes about Cinderella and a metal detector. They had a variety of northern hemisphere accents, and I’m not entirely sure they all knew we were talking about footwear. Shudder.
Bemused at yet another irrefutable example of my intractable vagueness, I resigned myself to the barefoot drive home and headed toward the clump of seal-people and my treasure-pile of poop and flotsam.
Behold! There beside the cuttlefish bone were my trusty Havs, stuck criss-cross fashion and heel-down in the sand.
Maybe it was the seal-people. Maybe it was Halti-woman. Maybe it was me. I have absolutely no idea.