Bladderwrack, the sea oak. Today I get to squeeze the air bladders and squelch the mucus, my childhood in a pop. I hang over a chosen rockpool, ear out for the flood tide, and quieten to watch the light, the swaying colours, this glimpse into Looking Glass land. The snails slo-mo along the floor or fronds, the little antennae – or are they antlers – probing the water and its tiny tides. A sudden movement, a whelk becomes a hermit crab, scurrying to the dark edges of the pool, readied for attack, readied for defence. I spent hours, days even, imagination submerged in this world when I was little, in North Wales. My father – no doubt re-living his childhood growing up on the South Coast – showed how waving pink fronds of sea anemones become jellied blobs, how to unmoor a limpet (surprise tactics, oh so hard), sight the transparent shrimps, net the tiniest of darting fish. I’ve lost him to dementia of late, though some shafts of light in the clouding of his memory have been down by the sea, in the rockpools.