There was a long and desolate stretch of beach south
of Holland Avenue where the houses petered out and sand
dunes covered in hard spiky grass ran a stretch down
the coast. The smell of saltwater and seaweed was thick
and cloying. Oscar walked past the old wooden fence posts.
The rim of the beach itself was festooned with impaled
litter and polystyrene cups. There was little sound but the
soft plump and swish of breaking waves and the hoarse
rattle they made on the pebbles as they drained back
to sea. Oscar picked up a pebble and flung it.
Paraphrases from the novel Hemingway’s Chair by Michael Palin.