In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take the place of pirates.
Mercifully, my current locale is close to the sea and boats of all sizes are plentiful, though pirates are sadly less so.
Yesterday we pushed further along the beach, away from the seals and World War II bunkers and towards the old fishing village of Footdee/Fittee, by the harbour.
The beach buzzed with jet-skis, children, dogs, surfers, motorcycles and runners, but Fittie rested quietly, seemingly untouched by time or technology.
Established in 1809 by John Smith for the fishing families of Aberdeen, its foundations as a harbour date back to the medieval period.
More recently, those foundations drew headlines as a mighty September storm submerged the village beneath several inches of sea foam.
Since the houses were transferred to the occupiers in 1880, the ‘tarry sheds’ have been customised by the owners into a burst of colour and creativity.
From gnomes to anchors, bright turquoise to vibrant yellow, the tiny doors, low roofs and cobbled pathways render the settlement a veritable hidden jewel.
Returning from the beach I excitedly pointed to a jagged white object resting on the shore.
Convinced it was a jaw-bone of some variety, I hastened towards it.
It was a sock.