I had two days off work and went to the closest coastline, Hunstanton in Norfolk. I parked near the swimming pool on the sea front and, noticing wooden boards across the gaps in the wall closest to the sea realised that there was likely to be a very high tide. I moved my car up a slope away from the sea, paid for a full day’s parking and set off. It was very windy and cold and bracing, but lovely to be at the coast. On the sea front sea shells and seaweed were strewn across the path. I’d never noticed this before at Hunstanton and wondered if they’d been left by a high tide. I walked onto the beach which looked a little different to how it usually does. White stones were strewn around the beach and a man was throwing them into a pile at the foot of a cliff. The large boulders which form a grid pattern and are usually covered in bright green seaweed in summer looked bare.
The sea was out and the metal outline of a shipwreck was showing. This has been there for decades and is only visible at low tide but I always enjoy looking at it. Further along the beach, past the cliffs with their dramatic horizontal stripes, was a line of sea weed and a red wellington boot. There were pieces of wood and a rope with a recently frayed knot on one end and the other end wasn’t attached to anything. It looked as if there had been a very high tide. I had a cup of tea in a pub at Old Hunstanton, talking to a woman with a dog. I returned past a golf course, along the top of the cliffs, past the warning signs if you feel lonely please ring this number, past the white light house and bought a cheap, oversized man’s waterproof coat from a charity shop. There weren’t any women’s ones. It was going to be a stormy week end and I’d left my waterproof coat at home. I also bought a hat I could tie under my chin, perfect for walking on windy days.
When I returned to my car, my parking ticket had blown away. Stuck to the windscreen was a parking fine. It would be halved if I paid it promptly. So much for spending £5 on 24 hours parking. I drove to Wells-next-the-sea to spend the night at a B & B. Flood defences were being put up, a storm surge and a very high tide were expected.