It’s a Shell Thing! Nicola Hockett April 20, 2014 Landmarks & Attractions, Seaside, Southend 6 Comments Okay, so I have a small obsession with shells, pebbles, washed up bits of glass and sand! Which is a good thing considering I live by the beach which is covered with lots of sand, and pebbles, and shells, and washed up bits of glass. I love the stuff! Glass that is, you know the bruised and battered by the waves stuff so its all rounded NOT the broken kind that’s sharp because that would be odd. And what I really love doing is collecting the shells, I don’t think I have EVER been to any beach, wherever I have been in the world, and not picked up shells or pebbles or the roughed up glass! I have found them in pretty much every bag I own. I’ve even found them in coat pockets months after visiting the beach, and I’ve even collected sand in ice cream pots. Although that was because I was making a necklace, and used the sand for a massive plant pot I acquired. The intention of this post was to be short and sweet however I just love collecting these little gems sooooo much I feel I am going to ramble on for a bit longer. Shell collecting has got to be one of my favourite past times and with the bank holiday just around the corner, and the thought of at least two of those days being sunny, I have the urge to collect even more. I’m pretty sure I don’t need anymore, after all in my lifetime I think I have probably transported half of Southend beach from shore to my parents’ humble abode, my place at university, my current flat and even my studio. I currently have two glass dishes full of pebbles in front of my TV. I have shells in my basement waiting to be strategically placed in my plant pots. They live in my old fireplace and in my toilet where I conveniently have a glass vase filled to the brim. That’s not to mention the ones in my parents’ garden and the ones in pots and bags in my studio just waiting to be used in a crafty project. In the past few minutes though I have realised it’s a love I have inherited. My dad has a window sill in his studio scattered with shells, pebbles and the odd bit of drift wood (my dad has a love for drift wood, particularly huge pieces of drift wood), and my mum enjoys collecting pebbles. She has a very specific criteria though, she only collects pebbles with holes in (weird, I know). Then again, could it just be the sea air and the joys of living by the seaside that makes us love these things? After all, my other half also enjoys collecting pebbles but he tends to only go for fun looking pebbles. He even brought me home a pebble that looked (… how can I put it?… Oh yeah)… rude, as a present from a lads’ weekend. That’s love for you!!!! So I implore you all to grab a bag, bucket, pot or just use your pockets to collect shells, beautiful shells, and pebbles this weekend. It’s probably one of the most cost effective activity you could do with children of any age, even those who should embrace the children within, and one of the most enjoyable which I look upon fondly. Plus shells can be used for numerous crafty projects to while the weekends away. I shall follow this blog up with all the crafty things where I have used my shells, but in the meantime just use your imagination! Or if all else fails, do what my parents do and arrange them strategically in the garden or in plant pots. Happy Shelling!!!!!