Today I had a swim in the pool at 9am and then walked down to Seagrove Bay in blazing sunshine. Again, it’s all downhill walking until you reach the beach, and once there I needed to rest my tingling calf muscles in the one seat available. To my right was a muddy path up through the trees that would have eventually led me back to St. Helens, but at this time of year the path is too slippery and dangerous for me to try at my ‘advanced’ age.

As I sat there minding my own business, I was aware of movement in my right peripheral vision. I turned to the right to see a twenty-something woman, very serene, dressed none too warmly, barefoot and totally covered in mud, who had obviously arrived at Seagrove Bay via the path through the trees. I smiled at her and wondered if she was okay. She walked as though in a trance, and there was definitely something strange about her. She ignored me and carried on walking. I could see that she was uninjured, but being covered in mud had definitely caused a stir amongst the dog walkers, who all looked back at her as she passed them.

She walked down the steps to the beach and began to clamber over some rocks. When she got to a clear stretch of sand she walked towards the sea and stood at the water’s edge. Tentatively she inched further into the water. I began a conversation with a dog walker, who was as concerned about her as I was.

Was she suicidal? She walked further into the Solent, which in March is none too warm. I took my phone out of my bag in case I had to call the coastguard. The woman stood as still as a statue, knee deep in the water. After about ten minutes she turned back to the beach and carried on walking along the sand until she was out of sight. She hadn’t even bothered to wash all the mud off.

What had gone on in her mind during those ten minutes? None of us knew, but at least she was still alive. Yes, folks, it’s all happening here on the wonderful Isle of Wight!