As I've mentioned before, I'm a slightly obsessive picker-up of sea glass . I always have been, but since living so close to the sea, it's become an almost daily ritual. It doesn't seem quite right coming home empty-handed - and in fact I rarely do.
Were that priceless commodity - time - more readily available to me, I'd really love to learn some basic jewellery techniques, so I could wrap some of my finds in silver wire and turn them into ear-rings and necklaces. Until the relentless daily round eases off a little, however, my sea glass sits about the house in large glass dishes.
I wish I could lay my hands on my copy of Anita Shreve's heartbreaking novel Sea Glass , so I could quote a few passages in which she precisely captures the essence of my own fascination with these elusive, evocative shards. Rubbish from ages past transformed by the waves into gemstones of infinitely subtle hue. And with a tactile quality which is difficult to describe to anyone who hasn't walked for miles distractedly turning a piece of sea glass over and over between their fingers. It's addictive stuff.
Absolutely ages ago I promised to post a photo of a beautiful twisted piece I'd found. Here is it - though it's not easy to show its intriguing shape to best advantage.
Here's the haul from yesterday's walk (above).
And when I grabbed a bag to stuff with scarves, hats, water, tissues etc for this morning's session at the rugby club, I noticed a clinking sound in an outer pocket which turned out to be a handful of sea glass collected on the beach at North Berwick on this day last October.
How lovely to discover it again - though it made me yearn to rush up there and walk along that craggy shore, which could hardly be more different from my own portion of the eastern coastline. I've just been looking at some stunning photographs of the landscape around Berwick Law and wishing my life away.
And yet, who knows, perhaps some of the the well-worn sea glass washed ashore on Mersea began life as bottles dropped into the sea hundreds of miles further north.
Or maybe my North Berwick jewels had made their way from Essex to Scotland over the decades (even centuries) and I have simply brought them home.
We'll never know. But it's fun to dream.