Sunday 15 January 2012: Coquilles St Jacques
Damp, grey and snotty - the weather's not much better either :(
I collected armfuls of these scallops shells the other day - washed ashore on a a little strand and rarely seen there before. It's always interesting how different beaches have different finds - there's a shell beach; a sea glass and pottery beach; a razor shell beach and a driftwood and general gunge beach. These scallops were particularly prettily marked. Scallops are a delicacy of course - chaiselongue is very fond of them, but I could no more eat one than jump out of a plane. One Christmas we had a lot of work done re drainage. We had just taken the sons to the airport and were relaxing when there was a knock at the door. Jim the diggerman, responsible for said drainage, and his wife stood there with a large paper bag inhand. We invited them in and they handed over the bag - inside were about twenty fat scallops, still alive. We thanked them, trying to hide our horror, and put the bag in the sink. When Jim and his wife had gone we tried to ignore the scallops and wondered what to do with them. As we pondered we heard strange squidgy noises and bag rustling - they were not only alive but very much so! It was about 11pm by now, outside the weather was roaring and lashing. There was only one thing to do - we donned our macs, took the bag and headed down to the sea where we released the scallops!! Next morning we went for a recce and none were to be seen which we took as a good sign. Later Jim asked us how we had enjoyed the delicacy - we answered, truthfully, 'they went down very well.' Please dont tell!
Scallops are also the sign of St James and fittingly I teach at a school dedicated to St James. Pilgrims on the Camino, the pilgrimage to St James final resting place at Santiago del Comopstella, wears shells in his honour. Now that is something I would like to do.