9 - Voices from the fog
Today’s walk was short, but memorable. A mournful voice from the sea, deep and mysterious, had drawn me out early. It was cold, cloying damp and I couldn’t see more than a metre in front of me, but I followed the double yellow lines downhill towards the sea. A giant container ship hidden at anchor in the Solent mist was sounding her fog horn, and I was sucked irresistibly towards that soulful sound. I couldn’t see if I was alone on the beach, all I saw was a billowing grey haze, with eery tinges of uncanny colour. Straining my eyes through the murk, I made out some black S shapes and the occasional subdued honk from what I guessed to be a flock of Brent geese in the shallows, our regular winter visitors from Siberia. I started to head up the beach, but that thick wet blanket engulfed everything and through the mist I heard some harsher voices, perhaps just someone calling their dog, the freakish conditions lending the cries a more threatening note. I turned heel and headed back up the hill for home. I stared hard into the mist and saw more colours, a glaucous sun starting to penetrate the grey, and the jolly green figure of the pedestrian crossing winking comfortingly through the swirling fog.