The beach and the car park were strewn with carefree crowds. I threw my rucksack down at the edge of the dunes and waited for the chip shop to open. The light was still sharp, but so now was the wind; the elements threw sand and shadows at me so I moved to the warm sheltering pavement and unintentionally started a queue.

It was a wriggling impatient queue, a queue that checked its watch and leered through the windows to bother the staff, a queue that snorted the smell of batter, paper, old vinegar, (and a hint of drain from down the passage) and a queue that swelled and shuffled so that when the door opened we hurled all at once to the counters behind which, safely armed with chip scoops, the staff- clearly used to such behaviour – told us where to stand and what to do, and we the queue, became meek.

 

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