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Seagulls glided over my head, far above the buildings. Even still, i was surprised at the sheer wingspan of the bird. And on an old Victorian lamppost, the lamp long since broken off, a blackbird perched, twisting its neck. I was nervous, it be true. My relationship with God’s creatures, of late, has been fraught at best. Perhaps a day at the seaside was a foolish choice? Fortunately, however, the afternoon drew into dusk without incident. Not a grey squirrel in sight.


Indeed, the only moment of note came when an older gentleman exited the public toilets with wet trousers. Naturally, i assumed he had left it too late, or had suffered some sort of struggle with his zip. The splash ran suspiciously from his groin to his knee, covering a generous proportion of his left thigh. However, on using the facilities myself, i discovered that the actual cause lay with the taps, which administered a furious kickback when turned on, due to high pressure in the pipes. I also suffered a dousing when washing my hands, but fortunately my dark jeans did a better job of disguising the mishap than did his beige slacks. I felt sorry for old boy. I imagined the hour on the bustling coast he must have endured until the sun dried out his shame. Such moments bring one to yearn for a wooden sign or a T-shirt that would read, ‘For the avoidance of doubt, the mark on my trousers is from bad public plumbing, and is NOT urine.’ Maybe he sat in his car, gently applying the electric cigarette lighter into the damp fabric? Maybe he strolled with his arm positioned unnaturally across himself to hide the stain? Who knows. I didn’t follow him.

Anyway, i ate ice cream, and scrambled upon the shoreline rocks looking for crabs. Then i went home.