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A trip over the beautiful South Downs to the south coast today. To the west beach at Littlehampton, and specifically to the West Beach Cafe for a very basic but very good fish and chip lunch.

A holiday-maker I ran into on the boardwalk told me that the morning sky had been black with cloud and a massive downpour, but there was little evidence of all that rainwater in the parched ground. Maybe it will green up over the next few days. Regardless, between that rain and the sea breezes, the air was delightfully fresh and clean and I filled my lungs with deep draughts.

I also filled by stomach with a draught of Chalky's Bite, a truly delightful local brewed ale. Perfect for fried battered cod and chips with malt vinegar.

Then we all strolled off onto the beach, not at all far as it bordered the cafe.Behind the beach the sand dunes that were used for location filming of the Doctor Who episode, Terror of the Zygons, all carefully roped off from the public. No Zygons to be seen, perhaps conservation efforts had come too late for them.

Behind them, a ruined fort, built in 1854 just in case the French became a nuisance again.After an hour or so of mostly just sitting on the pebbles and feeling the sun and breeze, we walked back to the car. The tide was close to its lowest, and the River Arun ran out into the sea as children played in the shallow water close by the channel. They, and us too, were having a lovely day.

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