JUST before the latest lockdown, John suggested a day out.

In theory we should have been in Scotland stalking, but instead we were on the East Yorkshire coast, exploring the beach and rock pools of Thornwick Bay. Simple pleasures, but on a glorious November day with blue skies overhead, they take some beating.

Shooting has been cancelled this month, even though our shoot captain had gone to great lengths to create a safe-distanced, well-regulated day for shooters and beaters.

Recently, I was one of the beaters on the shoot, in charge, in theory, of our capricious spaniel Moss. Now she knows that she can get away with far more misdemeanours with me than with John.

On a drive where I was beating through maize, she went one way and I went the other. But on stands where I stood with John, or just behind, she was much calmer. But still too excitable on retrieves to gain full marks from the boss.

If we go out without the dogs I do not feel too guilty at leaving them at home. They have three comfy beds in an outbuilding that was once the privy for the farmhouse.

In addition, John has attached a large run so they have their own outside loo. They would have loved the beach at Thornwick, but they are safe and comfortable when left behind.

A faded plaque attached to the side of what I presume was a wartime pillar box at the bay, dramatically reinforced how quickly the scene of balmy seas lapping on the beach under a clear blue sky, can change.

Nearly 70 years ago, two teenagers must have tragically swam out of their depth and were swept into an area of strong currents. The local lifeboat at Flamborough was under repair and the Bridlington lifeboat capsized in worsening weather conditions. The Bowman of the boat and the girls drowned.

After reading the plaque and, in a sombre mood, I explored the beach with John. But then another discovery highlighted even more the passage of time and how inconsequential our lives are.

Imprinted into one of the rocks on the beach, what could only be, I thought, a dinosaur footprint. Probably isn’t, but it sure looks like one.

When this lockdown is over, pay a visit, see what you can find too. And be reminded of how brave our lifeboat crews are at all times.