With just half an hour to spare between appointments today I wasn’t sure what I might inspire me to write.

Arriving at Roker’s Cat & Dog Steps my eye was caught by some pooling water, gathered in depressions sculpted by movements of the passing tides.  The sand around them, swept into ripples by the same motion, resembled fingerprints, left to identify the pool’s creator.Nearby are cannonball rocks; the concretionary limestone formations unique to this stretch of coast.  Found nowhere else in the world, they were enough to attract the interest of Adam Sedgwick in the 19th Century, one of the founders of modern geological science.Around the base of the rocks are the fine strata, left in the sand by evaporating rock pools that have been activated by the wind into sculpting these lines.  Elsewhere the same wind is powerful enough to guarantee the return of kite surfers to the shore, pulling their lines horizontally  to dip their canopies into the salt water.

I decide to head in their direction to find a portrait, but the conditions are proving so popular that the roadside parking is already taken by seal-skinned surfers readying their gear.

I press on north to Whitburn where I find myself beset by rats attracted by Minchella’s ice cream kiosk.

I should clarify; this is not a rodent attack.  The RATS are a group of lady walkers; the Rambling and Tea-shop Society, a group of friends who meet on a regular basis to walk anywhere in the region.  I’m in the process of photographing one of them (Joan) when the others arrive to ask me which publication I’m working for!  Two of their number have an interest in photography I discover, one of them being my subject!  I hope I’ve done her justice.And then, just as quickly as they appeared, the RATS move on.


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