Saturday, 29 July 2017
Visit a beach location, preferably one with a mixture of sand, shingle and small stones. A few large rocks could be beneficial, but by no means essential. Add a falling tide and an appropriate receptacle and off you go, searching for sea glass, which is an excellent excuse to wander around a beach, enjoy the sunshine and accidentally overhear fascinating snippets of conversations...
"I think we always have this inaccurate idea of what a beach should be like..."(sat among the seaweed)
"I have no idea why you are still with him..." (beach counselling)
or the one that totally bemused me
"Don't get your clothes dirty, we are going on holiday in a few days..." #whatiswrongwiththebeach? Wherecouldyougothatisbetterthanthis?
Rural beaches are perfect for a quiet relaxing day, but if they are miles from any significant amout of housing there will not be much sea glass to be found. Instead chose a location just outside a town where drunks and the odd optimistic message sender may have cast their containers into the depths, only for them to have been dashed to pieces on nearby rocks and smoothed into sea glass by the combined actions of sea and sand.
In my experience green glass is easiest to find, it glows in the sunlight and stands out most clearly among the pebbles, sand and assorted detritus. Clear glass is also common, but the action of the ocean and abrasions from sand, shingle or rock turn clear glass increasingly opaque until it impossible to distinguish from a pebble. Amber and brown glass are the next most commonly found colours. Orange glass needs careful checking to ensure it isn't actually plastic. Red and deep blue discoveries are the sapphire and garnets of the sea glass discoveries - rare and precious.
Good colour vision is desirable. My poor colour blind husband doesn't stand a chance of seeing the green glass, for him, it does not sparkle. Interestingly, where there is a good supply of clear glass he is better at spotting that than I am.
Sometimes other items of interest find their way into my collection - an interestingly shaped stone, a bottle top or best of all, a rusty hinge...
As you wander along the beach you spot the glass because of how the sun sparkles. A falling tide is best, as the glass shines most brightly when it is wet.
"Hmm," observes my husband, "You gather what is left behind?"
I pondered. Actually, I discover what has been revealed. No matter how many times I walk across this beach, there will always be pieces I have not noticed before. It is a bit like a passage of scripture. You may feel that know each word, but each time you read it, some fresh insight will be revealed, like a piece of glass reflecting sunlight.
A fellow collector admires a piece of orange glass in my zip and seal bag.
"Did you find that today?" I confirm that I have. As I pick up each bit I always wonder how the glass came to be in the sea. Was this orange bit once part of a car indicator light? Is it actually glass? How long has this bit been in the sea? Mysteries of the deep, dredged up for our delight and fascination!
Not all discoveries have happy endings. I wonder what Prince Charming made of this discovery? Actually, it looks more like the shoe worn by a pantomime prince that a Cinderella. Meanwhile, someone has some sole searching to do...and that is not a fishy pun!