14 Aug Shoulder at the Seaside
After a long dry spell without access to a pool, we are longing to swim. There is still the shock as warm flesh hits cold water, and a sharp intake of breath once I have inched in deep enough to lean out into the first lunge. It feels as though my skin is being stroked by silk as I acclimatise to the cold. I remember how it feels good, as I dry off. Sunshine and the sea breeze toast my skin, drying beads of salt water. The smell of the sea, mingled with sun cream makes my nostrils flare with pleasurable associations.
Seagulls fly low overhead, scanning for fish and chips. I can hear the squeals of both children and adults as they encounter cool water. My companions swim at the far edge of the ‘marine pool’. Just beyond is the sea. All around me, there is a burble of happy holiday sounds.
In full sunshine, the landscape of sky is inked in cobalt blue and the sea blends olive green with Prussian blue. Later, overcast, it has a different colour palette. Hazy bands delineate pool, the Severn estuary, windmills and industrial silhouettes of Wales behind. Then there is sky and a few distant smears of cloud. Bands of neutral tones mark each layer, with hints of pink, blue, brown and green. The sea recedes, shimmering silver grey.