A liquorice allsort pebble

Plain sandy beaches don’t quite cut the mustard with me. Yes, I loved them when I was a kid and could use whatever tools were to hand to do a spot of beach engineering. Although probably unsure as to what a canal was, that’s what I liked to build. I wanted an incoming tide so I could build a waterway network above the current tide line and then allow it to flood and fill with water – and rapidly get washed away, of course.

But now a plain sandy beach backed by sea defence walls and without much else seems the dullest kind of beach. I’d like to have some pebbles as well so that interesting ones can be found.

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Now this stone looks a bit ordinary from the top.

It’s just a plain brown pebble with a flat surface (it would be great for skimming across the water) and nicely smoothed by the action of the sea.

You have to look at the edge to see its real loveliness.

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Did you ever see anything more like one of the delicious brown sandwich liquorice allsorts?

But it isn’t that at all, it is a pebble and there must have been some change in circumstances whilst the sediment it was made from was laid down and compressed. If I was more of a geologist maybe I’d know what mineral created the brown layers and what happened to cause the black in the middle.

For now, this little pebble, about five centimetres across, is just for enjoyment. It came from St Helens Duver on the Isle of Wight.

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