Boat Quay from the lowermost steps below the banking towers offers a quite different view from the bland sidewalk above. The fauna is a curious composition of natives and visitors. There are grazing chromides from indic shores and sliders from the mid-west who seem comfortable in these saline waters patrolled by the spears of half-beaks and sharp-eyed archers. Descending to the first dry level above an algae-covered layer, the skeletons of barnacles crunched under my shoes. Battalions of these virile crustaceans share the concrete with shellfish of unproven aphrosidiacal worth.
In time, these colonies will winnow, as the waters lose their marine flavour to a barrage of freshness. Some may persist, while others will perish. Their bodies will for a while join the heaps of litter that line the river to remind visitors of the old romance of times when this passage was a route to fortune and repository of waste. Some traditions never die. While checking my back to ascertain that no vengeful creature was seeking to tip a duck into the deep, I plucked a nerite from its roost to ponder its dotty little lid. It refused to pose though, lifting its cover to squirm and protest its mishandling. I placed it back, deciding that the snail rightfully deserves less attention than it's worth. Where do shells best stand? On land or in sand?