We’ve been on the coast of North Devon. Today the younger ones struck off from a larger group of trundling adults and children to get into the sea (we were standing on the headland and the water looked so calm and blue that Emma couldn’t think of anything other than finding somewhere to get into that sea).

We found a small rocky beach at the end of a crumbling single-track road. Emma and I went ahead in one car and wondered whether the others had lost their nerve on the way down. That was until we saw the others walking down the cliff path as we bobbed in the shallows. We swam out to the rocks and balanced on them, rising out of the water like miracles as we stood on ones that had already been covered by the waxing tide.

Eventually Emma and I got out and I examined my scraped and bumped legs. The other two sat in the shallows. I heard a splash and a scream and when I looked up a huge seal had popped up between them. It bellowed and splashed around playfully, the slid off effortlessly.