I remember walking on the beach, me and mum always fell behind dad. Hands never big enough, pockets never deep enough. We’d tell ourselves we had to be strict and only get the best, but there are so many of the best that you end up with armfulls.

Dad wasn’t really any better. He was just more discerning, but then again you’d expect that of a geologist. The hint of a fossil hidden inside, really good, interesting quartz streaking against the rock, or just something weird and metamorphic.

And shells. Shells!

Shells on the shore are always beautiful, and water makes everything glisten; makes the world shine. So the three of us would walk along the beach, absurdly, picking up rocks and shells, return to the car overladen with worthless treasure.
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