Dover (Sunday 15th July back-posted)

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Dover.

The ferry engines hum distantly in the heat of the lazy afternoon.

Sunlight dances on the glistening sea.

The water recedes, with the clatter of little pebbles it rakes deliciously through its eager fingers, before rushing back over them with a deep hiss.

A pale, flabby Frenchman wades into the sea in a tight pair of shorts, dousing his bald head and arms. His wife sits wrapped in a brown sarong, smoking, while a young girl in a swimming costume teeters down the pebbly slope to the water. The man splashes her repeatedly and she screams, grinning, and splashes him back.

The sea is a clear turquoise, swelling in slow, gentle ripples. A group of seabirds bob on its surface. They seem to enjoy each other’s silent company. As for me, I enjoy my own.

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