Beyond the car park gate the farm track has become almost a river of mud. It is not so much that it has rained a lot this winter (it has by the way) it is more that since 2012 (in 300 years of record keeping the wettest on record in the UK) there has not been a dry summer. The rain keeps raining, the ground is full and new streams spring from every hollow in the landscape. Momentarily though and for the next half hour the rain will be forgotten.
The crest of the hill rolls forward, the curve becomes steeper almost as if the hill were a wave breaking against the sea below. The vivid green grass cuts a sharp line against the white surf and then there is sparkling sea out to the blue horizon.
Today the sand is in. The beach is usually a mix of fine grey sand and green veined white pebbles, but the mix changes with almost every tide, sometimes the beach can be a gentle shelf of just sand other times it can be just a jumble of boulders. The boulders are always there of course lurking beneath the surface. Today the sand is in and the waves sweep across the foreshore leaving an ice-cream foam.
There is not a single footprint on the blank canvas of the beach and the act of stepping my foot into the sand verges on mystical, it is like walking through an unseen door to another world, back there it is business as usual, but here it is just me and the beach.
50 yards out from the surf I cross a line. Back there the sand hangs in the water, but out here the current sweeps in from the sea and now I can clearly see my toes. There is a desire to simply float out here in the sunshine, to lap up every last moment, but I am further from the beach than perhaps it looks and I know full well that the cold will start to bite once I am getting dry and dressed. It is time to head back in before I become a blue, quivering lump and besides the sun has already slipped behind the hill and its feeble winter warmth has already left the beach.