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Just down the road is a long bright beach, scattered with dogs, sunshine and pebbles of every shape and colour. This, apparently, is the fault of the glacial moraines which came this way from Scotland and the Lakes and dumped them. Visiting Mum and Clive is always so educational.

It has rockpools (I discover a thrill-seeking anenome and half a crab), a slowly draining river (I get a wet foot, Mum finds some quicksand) and a huge mass of red sandstone rocks slick with algae, rain, and spray. The soft stone is malleable and friable: the weather and sea has carved it into pits, whorls, and swirls, and humans have left behind a time-line of graffitti from the late 1800s to the present day. The Victorians even carved a bathing-pool into it. I find a pornographic carving (vintage: before breast implants) a bunch of faces Clive claims are Celtic (yeah, right), some really neally modern-skate punk relief work and a really, really slippery bit just next to a deep pool.

Then I get distracted, picking up stones, or, as the book would have it, "a chaotic mixture of outwash sands, gravels, and coarse blocky moraine, deposited at the end of the Devensian Glaciation, the last major ice advance."