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  • Writer's pictureMonique Sliedrecht

An Unexpected Dip

I woke early this morning to the sun rising and shining brightly through the windows. With excitement, I prepared a coffee, took out a chair and small table, and grabbed my book to spend a few quiet moments outside. The light and atmosphere were glorious. I wanted to make the most of the sunshine while it lasted - to feel the warmth of the rays, listen to the birds, watch the swallows swoop and dive, and smell the earth fresh scent of late summer.

No sooner had I settled down and taken 3 sips of my coffee, when I realised the moment would be short-lived.

In the warm sun with very little breeze, the midges seemed to have similar ideas to mine and were out in force, seeking breakfast. I rushed inside, swatting the tiny critters away as I went.

After an hour, the wind picked up slightly.

In my second attempt to go out I decided to trek down to the beach.

I eventually found an outcrop of rock to sit on, and placed my basket down beside me, grabbing my notebook to start writing.

The sun was sparkling on the water. In the distance, on the other side of the beach, I could see morning campers attempting to get a red dinghy out into the bay.

The tide was coming in gradually, the waves pushing the kelp and sea wracks too and fro, creating a gentle calming rhythm. A family of cormorants were on the rocks, standing in their upright manner while cautiously watching me from afar.

No sign of midges here.

It was a golden opportunity to soak up some necessary vitamin D before making my way back to the office and studio.

After some time of letting my thoughts drift, I looked up from my book when I noticed a cloud covering the sun and the temperature changing slightly, and took that as my cue to head back. I was ready to return to work, feeling energised by being outside.

I got up from my rock outpost and turned around, only to discover, with great surprise, that the tide had risen faster than expected and I was surrounded by rather deep water on all sides! I could not believe it.

The only choice I really had then was to toss my rucksack and basket as near to the shore as I could, jump in after them and swim to the rocks leading me to the beach. Either that, or wait until the next low tide which was this evening (not an option).

Without allowing myself too much time to think about it, I threw my bag towards the next rock which was about 3 metres away. It landed with a splash in the water, just short of its intended destination. I followed soon afterwards, up to my neck in the cold north sea, and paddled my way to the next exposed rock, my clothes hanging heavily on me.

How surprisingly quick the water had risen in the seemingly short time I sat reading and reflecting! Thankfully, of all days for this to happen, the weather was warm enough not to feel chilled to the bone when I stepped out of the sea. I picked up my bag and basket, and trudged back home along the sandy beach, a complete soggy mess.

I had to laugh inside. Speak of feeling enlivened! This certainly was rather unexpected!

The people in the dinghy were too far away to witness what had happened, thank goodness, but I’m sure it provided some lighthearted entertainment for my feathered friends.

Moral of the story?

Keep your eye on the tide!

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