At this time of year the beaches along the shore below the cottage are never walked by large numbers of people. Footprints in the sand are rarely seen – sometimes the double tracks of walker and dog are clear and occasionally those of otters are seen along the beach before the tide takes them away.

With the current lockdown tracks are even more rare and it’s easy to imagine Robinson Crusoe’s surprise on finding that famous footprint – “it happened one day, about noon going towards my boat, I was exceedingly surprised with the print of a man’s naked foot on the shore, which was very plain to be seen on the sand. I stood like one thunderstruck, or as if I had seen an apparition. I listened, I looked round me, but I could hear nothing, nor see anything; I went up to a rising ground to look farther; I went up the shore and down the shore, but it was all one; I could see no other impression but that one. I went to it again to see if there were any more, and to observe if it might not be my fancy; but there was no room for that, for there was exactly the print of a foot — toes, heel, and every part of a foot.”

Man Friday