In what's now become a bit of a tradition at this time of year, I had a birthday party at Bigbury on Sea, with BBQ and a swim around Burgh Island. Alex cooked up a storm and we had an absolute feast including sausages, prawns, mackerel, chicken and burgers; it was overcast but warm and we sat on the beach munching and gossiping. Then we noticed an eerie sea mist lingering over the shiny slate cliffs in the distance; quite beautiful, and then we could see patches of sunlight on the sea in the distance. A group of us set off to swim around the island; the water was flat as a millpond and as soon as I got in I felt excited because it was crystal clear and I could see the ripples in the sand underneath, studded with cockle shells. Kari and I swam in close to the island perimeter, over gardens of kelp and rocks covered in pink lichen; every so often in the gullies we got gently pulled in by small eddies and equally politely spat out. It was a low spring tide: in amongst the rocks were small lagoons, fringed with great swathes of seaweed, hanging down from their roots above us. Back on the beach we had Stephanie's home-made bread and jam for pudding; the sun came out and it felt like summer.
Thanks to Allan Mcfadyen and Amanda Bluglass for the pictures.