end of summer

September blew into Cornwall on a cool wind and pouring rain. The leaves turned and began to fall and suddenly the beaches emptied out.

The end of summer: some of us are longing for the warm weather just past (or never arrived,) and some of us are looking forward to pulling on our winter clothes, longer walks on empty paths and getting the beach all to ourself. I love this time of year.

The turn of the season shows up quickly at Arthur’s Beach. A rather slap-dash clean (I had only a small bag and my now rather smelly backpack with me) revealed a change in the nature of the rubbish lining the back of the beach. Gone are yesterday’s water bottles and crisp packets. Instead I found battered beer cans and fragments of water bottles and hard plastics, all dirty and worn smooth by the waves. The bits of water bottle can be hard to find as they blend in so well with the pebbles. Here are two by my boot:

And here’s a close-up view:

I found 79 of these, out of a total of 226 pieces of rubbish. The tourists are gone and the sea turns to tidying up, showing us what we’ve been ignoring for too long.

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