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All you need for a walk like this is an extremely low tide. Otherwise you’re stymied at every protuberance. Last weekend we had such a tide in the afternoon, not always my liveliest time. But the delights of the walk kept me wide awake. Around three headlands, through two pebbly coves, over one long-grass rock bypass, past five large orange dykes, between untidy masses of black lava long since solidified, and onto parallel ridges. Ironstone boxes containing blue striations. Shells perched on minute ledges, or clinging to horizontal surfaces. Rockface laminated in wavy lines. All under light sea mist and the threat of rain.


The next day back to the end point of yesterday for another look, under new umbrellas: J’s a gentle mauve (he thinks it’s grey) and mine leopard spotted. Another meandering orange dyke, making its way through pitted black volcanic rock. Ovoid rock intrusions. And a suffragist crab: green, purple and white.