recently I recalled those long gone childhood summer days with intense tenderness . we would go down to the beach early in the morning, those gentle, generous hours of a summer's day, carrying our fishing nets, spades and colourful buckets dangling from our chubby small hands . the sun still at a lower angle in the vibrant skies made every detail so simple and defined. on the head well fitting cotton hats with fine round elastic straps under the chin to prevent them from falling . top side marine blue, lower side a pale sandy yellowish colour . our innocent smiles gleaming in our eyes . the tide had started to recede just after sunrise leaving exposed the vast extent of a smooth shiny flat rocky surface of a dark anthracite hue with irregular shaped potholes filled with fresh crystal water . inside the holes a whole lively fascinating world of small pinkish crabs, some delicate transparent green seaweed slowly dancing at the rhythm of the clear water, limpets attached to the rock's surface . and the scent of crisp moist salty air slightly mingled with faint iodine . wearing sarraizienne jelly sandals, mine a translucent deep turquoise, we would set about to investigate the underworld of the fantastic sea life amidst screams of sheer happiness until it was time to go back home before lunch and we had to say goodbye .