Hilka and I met a couple of years ago when I taught English at the company she worked for at the time. When she moved to Bavaria, we stayed in touch via social networks and the occasional phone call; as we were both experiencing some ups and downs in our lives, it was good to have somebody who could relate to these problems.
However, living in Bavaria proved to be difficult for Hilka (for various reasons), so she moved back north this summer, settling near the North Sea coast. As we hadn’t seen each other for two years and with me longing to be at the sea again before the year closes (I need to spend more time at the sea next year; for me, it really is ointment for the soul), I hopped on a train and visited her for a day.
We took a long walk on a mostly deserted beach; the weather was cold and stormy, so perfect for a day at the sea (in my opinion at least). It was low tide, so I waded a couple of metres into the mud flats to take some pictures … only to suddenly sink in up to my ankles (luckily I was wearing boots). Now, tideland has the property to act almost like quicksand: Once you have sunk in, it is almost impossible to get out, as the mud creates a vacuum, sucking you in even deeper. While I was grumpily trying to dislodge myself from the mud without losing my shoes in the process, Hilka stood on the shoreline and almost wet herself watching me.
We had some hot chocolate and tea in a little café on the beach, being the only customers in the late afternoon; the grey outside turned into navy blue and finally anthracite. To our mutual surprise, the mud on my boots easily came off once it had completely dried, leaving my boots crispy clean, but my feet still felt slightly damp and cold.
As my train back was not until 7 pm, we decided to take a stroll down the local Christmas market and warm up with some glögg and crepés.
We will most definitely do this again – albeit maybe at a slightly warmer time of the year.