No, this is nothing to do with the piercingly-sharp 1950’s footwear;
Shoes, not shellfish!
……but more to do with their shellfishy namesake, a wee whelk with a spiral shell which is widely distrubuted around the British coastline, commonly found among the rocks & weeds of the middle shore.
The real Winkle!
Incidentally the shoe was so named as the toes were said to be reminiscent of the long pin which draws the meat from the shell (someone had a rather overactive imagination or had been sampling – ahem – the wrong type of mushrooms, methinks).
In fact once you’ve spent a tortuous few minutes trying to pull the rubbery little devils from their shells, you get to appreciate just why the verb ‘extrication’ resulted from the painstaking process.
Tresaith (looking Westwards)
Today however, it described our task for the afternoon; in search of a supper we’ll cook in a few night’s time once the sand & grit have been thoroughly cleaned from their shells by soaking them in fresh, cold water for a number of hours. Thus we were to be found, enjoying a leisurely scramble around the rocks of Tresaith beach, some twenty minutes’ drive from the Ffarm.
This is turning into something of an annual pilgrimage for us. Tresaith was one of my sister Melissa’s favourite haunts when she visited; & a meal at the Ship Inn followed by a stroll along the beach, was always a highly-anticipated activity. She was fond of fish & especially shellfish, so foraging for food along the seashore at low tide seemed a particularly appropriate activity today.
As ever we’d intended to commence our pilgrimage with a bite of lunch; however, as ever (it seems to us) the restaurant was again closed so with tummies rumbling, we made our way along the largely deserted beach. Tresaith is certainly a place to visit at low tide, when its’ full glory can be appreciated.
At either end of the beach there is a waterfall; usually just a trickle at this time of year but owing to the unseasonably heavy rainfall the one to the right of the beach especially, is a deluge of angry, shouting foam; spiralling over the cliff & crashing down onto the rocks below before streaming down to the sea across the smooth golden sand.
Further around the corner is a maze of little rocky outcrops & mysterious dark sea caves, silent but for the soft sound of the sea, echoing around the quiet cove.
And today we were lucky enough to arrive just as the tide reached its lowest ebb…..
I wasted no time in scooping up a bag in which to gather some treasured shellfish: winkles, & a few plump mussels harvested from a little-visited rocky outcrop close to the water’s edge.
Mussel & winkle patterns on rocks
- Plump little mussels clinging to quartz
The mood however, was thoughtful; but this tranquil place offers happy memories as well as a good meal….even if on this occasion it did have to come from the sea & not the local hostelry.