Heaps of tanned pebbles add percussion to our footsteps as we walk to the sea which is gin clear, dead calm and tinted palest turqoise. Babette’s boys are already frolicking like seals. I wade in and feel the nip as the water creeps up my body. The seabed is steeply shelving and I swim straight away, the back of my neck contracting and shortening my stroke.
Beesands is a bleak and haunted place with a widescreen horizon, like the setting for a seaside Spaghetti Western. We laugh openly as Babette’s non-outdoor-swimming friends walk in slow motion to their icy nemesis as though to a gun-fight, bodies shrinking and faces contorting with the chill.