Sea glass memento of first time visit to glorious spot

Torbay Weekly

My husband's job takes him all over Devon, and occasionally into Cornwall as far as Truro.

After a career change last year following decades in a highly stressful, unpredictable environment, he relishes the joy of the open road, the solitude of lone driving and the tranquility of the remote places he visits.

Often, upon his return, he will wax lyrical about the beauty of the landscapes he has encountered: the ruggedness of the lonely moors; the solitary farmhouses silhouetted against a dusk-dimmed sky; the pretty hamlet twisting into view around a hidden bend...

Unfortunately, he is frequently unable to recall exactly where it was that he witnessed these appealing scenes, and my hopes of ever being privy to them myself are poor at best.

I do know that his journeys often traverse Dartmoor, and the romantic descriptions of this unique area of land in the midst of our county serve as a welcome reminder that we inhabit one of the most picturesque parts of the kingdom.

The majestic tors rising imposingly from the scrubby earth; the charming rivers and streams splashing and surging through field and glade; the low hills stretching into the smudgy distance - all harbour a singular loveliness that is easy to take for granted when it's on our doorstep.

We visit Dartmoor often, but I have no doubt there is far more to see than I have yet seen - although whether my husband will ever be able to remember how to get to the less frequented locations is another matter.

Gazing out of the window one recent Saturday, I watched the sun pour through the sky, inspiring it to be its bluest blue, and I felt the pull of the outdoors tugging at my hands and whispering tantalisingly into my ear.

My husband needed no coercion. Our daughters were work-bound, but the boys were free and willing, and the four of us climbed into the car and set off, destination unknown (at least to me).

I paid little heed to the direction in which we were travelling, content to sit back and enjoy the ride as my husband, consummate driver par excellence, expertly navigated his way around the streets.

I had expected we would wend our way moor-wards, as was our wont at weekends, and it wasn't until we passed signs for Dartmouth that I realised we were heading somewhere new.

We sailed on around curving paths until suddenly the view opened up beside me and I was dazzled by the unexpected splendour of the sea glittering greenly far below, its creamy foam rushing onto a golden biscuity bay.

We followed the curl of the cliff as it hugged the coastline, and pulled off the road at Torcross.

In all my years of Devon living, I have never visited this spot before, and in the sunshine of a spring afternoon it was indescribably glorious.

Leaving the car, we walked over to stand by the sea wall.

The wind was fierce, flinging forth waves that thundered onto the pebbled shore. The water, a clear jade close by and a brooding teal towards the horizon, beckoned and beguiled, the sun laying glinting fingers of light upon its restless surface.

We ventured onto the beach, skimming stones and skipping away from the rushing tide, the fresh breeze greeting us with salty kisses and whipping our hair around our faces.

At such times, I can almost taste the kinship seafarers must feel with the water: its mystery and allure.

We walked along the beach a little way; I was intent upon foraging a piece of sea glass for a creative friend, and finally managed to spy two tiny smooth stones that fitted the bill, glowing palely amongst the earthier pebbles.

I pocketed them swiftly, deciding to keep the smaller for myself, and we returned to the car to feast upon chips, the hot tang of vinegar sharp upon our fingers.

As we drove away, replete, we vowed to return in the summer.

Until that happy occasion, my small sea glass treasure will serve as a bewitching memento of that sunny, salty, seaside day.