Although it's not possible to see in this photograph Daisy is proudly displaying her Pebble Castle created on Dunwich beach. A very happy half hour was spent building the castle walls and then choosing the pebbles to represent the king and queen, the prince and princess. Daisy wanted to draw faces and crowns on the stones and as I had water-based felt tip pens with me, I was able to provide the perfect ink for her smooth pebble canvases. It was so satisfying an activity that soon the royal household expanded to include a royal baby, a servant, a gardener and several royal pets. Buddy was lured into the game with mention of the palace's need for a fleet of cars. In fact, courtesy of Buddy, we ended up having a royal Formula One team complete with pit crew. And a television.
Other pebble-play included a fabulously incomprehensible throwing game that Buddy and Daisy developed. It reminded me of the caucus race in Alice in Wonderland; we certainly didn't know quite when it began, nor when it would finish. Its rules included standing on a big pile of pebbles by the shoreline, throwing stones into the sea. Buddy explained, 'how far away they get in the sea, that's how many points you get. You don't get any points if it doesn't reach the sea. But you don't lose points. Bonus points are if it lands in a wave. But it's not a winning game. You just all get points.' They shouted out arbitrary numbers and celebrated each throw with a cheer, whether it landed in the sea or not. When it suddenly ended I was was relieved they didn't ask for a prize giving ceremony. Unlike Alice, there were neither peppermints nor thimbles in my pockets and I feared crumpled tissues, car keys and a button would not have made satisfactory prizes.