When my parents decided that we would move to the UK when I was but a blossoming ‘tween, one of the (many) propaganda stories they hinted at (along with the acquisition of a pony, our own stables and a chuckling brook round the back) was that many young Brits-by-the-sea enjoyed “beachcombing” as a very suitable pastime. (I expect that these badass individuals spent the rest of their time modelling cabled sweaters on knitting patterns … just saying). The allure of a metal detector may or may not have been mentioned at this time but even at the advanced age of 13 I realized that this was severely uncool and was just not going to happen on my watch.
That said, my (eventual) friends and I did end up frequenting the beach many times as the tides were changing (usually hoping for the sighting of a fisherman’s handsome son as we shivered across hard, ridged sand which had been deeply raked by the grey and frigid Irish Sea). Consequently, I soon found myself collecting fragments of china that were clearly very, very old and sometimes with an intriguing watermark; of course the ubiquitous sea glass appeared as well, in a variety of colours, but I valued the deep, purpley blue most of all because I love cobalt glass so much.
Sad to report, my collection is no more. Vast as it was, it was either liberated by my mother who in a fit of cleaning may have decided it was “a load of old tat and rubbish” or maybe it was merely lost amongst the tumble of yet another trans-Atlantic move when I returned.
I came across this most excellent link on sea glass colours the other day which inspired me to begin that collection all over again and perhaps start a collection of suitable glass jars or bottles to showcase it.
Oh and in case you were wondering? The pony, the stables, that brook? Never happened.
And I never got a metal detector either.