It was a bit of a week last week. Y’know. The sort of week where things just aren’t right.

Thursday evening brought a glimmer of light, and in a rare spontaneously-decisive moment, we decided to head off to a gorgeous beach not far from here.

Birling Gap is just stunning – it’s not at all far from Beachy Head, and is all high cliffs and shingly rockpooly beach. Actually, thinking back to a rather salt-washed geography field trip in circa 1989, I think they call that ripply dippy sea-carved rockpooly bit of chalk a ‘wave-cut platform’ – but I’m sure you can visualise what I mean.

I was in search of something in particular, something to inspire the next step for my ‘stonesoft’ collection of work – and as I looked around for it, I pulled out the sets of beads I’d taken along for the ride.

And dropped some.

I was so thankful to have brought strung sets, rather than a pocketful of unstrung heroes – because – and this is the brilliant bit – they would have been nigh on impossible to find! I can imagine it now – on hands and knees, searching, searching, searching for little pieces of my simulate stone with a hole in. I was thrilled to bits that the sets just seemed to slot into the pebbly landscape.

I took a few pictures, and watched the sea. And sought out a crab – which (rightly!) nipped me in protest at being scooped up out of its chalk-based sea-anemone-populated rock pool haven.