Thursday, 20 September 2007

A seaside special

Today was an impromptu holiday. The plan - to take the dogs to the beach now that the summer season is over and only the unemployed, the retired and the child-free are tackling the Cornish coast. The National Trust's Northcott Mouth may not be found on their website, but it is a wee treasure all the same. Smooth sea shaped boulders and pebbles far too big to put in your pocket litter the edge of the beach, making a satisfying crunch sound as you make your way seawards. From a distance you see the purplish black-capped jagged rocks peppering the beach and as you get closer, you can see that the rocks are in fact a mussel-lovers paradise.
The dogs pick their way carefully over the rocks and through the pools, allowed off their leads here all year round. They are mildly nervous of the sea and jump back from the lacy white froth, barking as I move away from them to get my knees splashed by the last licks of a once vigorous wave. Once I'm back out of the scary sea the dogs are playful but keep close, and watch as I twist some of the larger mussels off their salty barnacled bed and into a fresh as a daisy pooh bag.
The surf is up, a perfect Beach Boys day, only this beach is too rocky for safe surfing (is there such a thing?), and the noise of the waves is pounding and fierce and sucks away all other thoughts.
For now, the rock pools are ankle deep, clear and still. In a few hours they and the rocks that surround them will be feet deep in water, there will be no visible beach, and the woman who runs the tea caravan with its neat benches on well-clipped lawn, will be at home making her own tea, whilst I pick the beards from the mussels and serve free food.

9 comments:

mountainear said...

Most envious - lucky dogs - and you too of course with a supper of fresh mussels.

rilly super said...

I love mussels, and it's so hard to find a restaurant that does a proper european style kilo instead of about six mussels and a bit of lettuce. Bit far from the sea here to 'pick your own', sigh, but enjoy yours mopsa!

Flowerpot said...

looks wonderful Mopsa and bet the dogs had a wonderful time. My Moll adores the beach and Godrevy is an amazing beach ofr running (in 10 days time when the dog ban is lifted!) and there's a huge rock great for picking mussels.

Winchester whisperer said...

How idyllic - lucky you! (Hope you've got rid of the ticks)

GeraniumCat said...

Lovely - happy dogs! We like to do the same thing when the schools go back but, instead of mussels, we have fish and chips from Seahouses. Well, northern beaches are cold.

VioletsVintage said...

Great post

Mopsa said...

M'ear - you probably have something lusciously fishy in a stream near you....

Rilly - I'm with you - I want a Belgian bucketload as a main course, not a mimsy flimsy offering.

FPot - it was wonderful; so lovely to relax outside the farm with the dogs.

WW - the tick has gone thank you (actually, it is in a sample bottle on my desk!)

Gcat - seaside fish and chips was tempting but there was leftover pheasant casserole demanding attention.

Thank you VV!

Eurodog said...

Hello Mopsa,
How heartwarming to see a picture of Nothcott Mouth, our local beach. I gather it is an awesome surfing beach. Belle loves it at low tide and the mussels are terrific. I will probably collect a bucketfull and cook some when we are next over. The summer is not the best time for mussels as you know. You are right, in Belgium we allow 1 kg per person and that's ample. And of course we eat them with chips.

Eurodog said...

Sorry, forgot to mention: nice picture of the dogs.