It was the hottest day of the year so far. Mum said it was hotter than Spain. Dad snorted and said it was hotter than the Sahara! Jake was fed up. All mum and dad wanted to do was lie on the beach and roast, their skin turning lobster red. Jake had no-one to play with and he wasn't allowed in the water until mum or dad came with him.
"I'm ten, now," he said, in the car on the way down to the beach.
"Still too young, Jakey," Dad had called over his shoulder.
It had taken hours to drive, park and find a good place to settled down. And they were miles from the single ice cream kiosk way up towards the promenade.
Not my idea of a great day out, thought Jake, digging his fingers into the hot sand.
A boy about his age came past, carrying a bright blue lilo under his arm. The boy paused and scanned the horizon, one hand shading his eyes.
Then the boy looked over to Jake and said, "Want to paddle to France?"
Jake stared down at his parents, fast asleep on their beach towels.
"OK," he said.
Minutes later he was running into the cool, refreshing sea.
His new friend Tim thrust the lilo towards Jake. "You go first," he said with a grin.
"Brilliant," said Jake and climbing up he lay down on his stomach and started to paddle.
I'll be in France before tea time, he told himself and although he could hear voices calling out something behind him, splashing sounds drowned them out...