Under the sea

Under the sea, everything is shimmering and slick. Sharks flash by with hollow grins. Small fry twist and dodge in choreographed synchronicity. Far away, over the blue horizon, mermaids sunbathe on the rocks between underwater races and the rescuing of hapless humans. And far below, giant squid glide effortlessly through the dark, their great plate eyes searching for yet another victim.

Or so they tell me. Family camp is fast approaching, and costume making has begun in earnest. There’s painting in the garage, and the cutting up of old potato sacks. Ilse has presented me with a coloured pencil drawing of her tail. Fliss has requisitioned the sewing machine. Ideas are broached, discarded and resurrected in the course of a single mealtime. Best of all, they are all occupied and happy, these children of mine, leaving me free to think about the things we’ll need for a camp on a hill in Devon. Top of the list? Why, bathers of course. Because I have every intention of getting into that sea.

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