Carol was thrilled to find an almost complete clay pipe as we slowly combed the salt marsh, tuning in to the colours and shapes of the ground below our feet to identify anything out of the ordinary. I got a distinct second prize with a 19th century glass bottle stopper, but contented myself in the end, with a colourful collection of plastic rings – including bottle tops, ring pulls, pipes, washers, a pen and shotgun cartridge. It was good in this small fashion to help de-litter the foreshore and focus my mind on the conceptual circles and cycles of moon and tide which they interfere with and injure. We have now both got our souvenirs of times past and present.
In another 200 years will some future beachcomber pounce with relish on a rare sprite bottle cap in the same way we now love to find the waste and litter of yesteryear? Or will our hunger for petroleum based products so raise global temperatures that there will be no Medway marsh islands left to walk on at all, nor space for the already declining wildfowl to breed or roost.