In March 2003 my wife and I (Val) went to the Algarve for our Spring break. We had a timeshare apartment then, which Val had inherited from her parents.

The weather that year was awful and for the first week and a half there were very high Spring tides. These battered the beaches and assaulted the cliffs. In the last week, when the sun eventually broke through and the seas had moderated, all the sand on the beach had vanished. Incredible primeval rocks now faced us making it very difficult to walk on the foreshore.

We returned to Portugal in October and out in the bay a very large dredger was sucking up sand from the sea bed a large pipe was blowing it onto the shore where a bulldozer was levelling it out. The new beach was bigger and more beautiful than ever but it was covered in millions of the most gorgeous varieties of large seashells, the biggest shells I had ever seen on that beach.

The Covid virus is battering us but the dredger of grace is beginning to do its work. The shoreline is changing our experiences and some incredibly new ‘shells’ have begun to come to light. We will have new experiences and gifts to pick up and enjoy in times to come.