We take a train to Cromer, the boys and I, Smith and Jeff.
We find our way down to the beach and take in lungfuls of sea air, feel the strong wind in our hair our fur, listen to the cries of gulls and the seething of the sea. The sky a winter blue, clouds move quickly, the wind is everywhere. I let the dogs off the lead and they tear away with happy abandon.
We turn westwards towards Sheringham, six or seven miles of ever-changing beach. The tide is receding, leaving untouched sand, cormorants stand sentinel on groyne beacons, a wind farm far out to sea, a small boat making steady progress.
The crumbling cliffs to our left do not shield us from sudden sandstorms whipped up by the angry wind. The dogs hold their heads down, I turn my back and wait for the moment to pass.
The boys greet other dogs, they sniff each other out before agreement is found on a game of chase. Big dogs chase small dogs, small dogs chase big dogs, it’s all run, run, running.
We reach Sheringham and find a dog-friendly pub, the boys gobble snacks while I eat fish and chips and sip at a pint of bitter. Smith snoozes, Jeff whimpers quietly, wanting to get back outside and on the move.
We take the train back home, I read while the dogs doze, a fine day on the north Norfolk coast.