We took a couple of days' leave in Northumberland recently. One day, we decided to go to Alnmouth. When we arrived, the car park was full, and every available space was taken on the small town's narrow streets. We drove around a couple of times before abandoning the whole idea. Instead, we drove a few miles up the coast to Boulmer. It had a much more sleepy atmosphere, in a nice and peaceful kind of way. The sound of water gently lapping on the shore, oystercatchers, eider ducks and shelducks dabbling on the shallow sea. Swallows were swooping low over the sandy beach, catching flies. For some reason, I always find abandoned fishing paraphernalia very photogenic. I wonder if anyone ever uses those crates.

There was a calming haze over the sea. I felt like I could have stayed longer, but dinner called. It was still nice to get a few moments of the North Sea air.