There's something irresistible about the sea.
Perhaps at heart I'm a rusty sea dog. Early as the sun rose through North East England, we slipped out of bed, called Apollo, and ventured out to watch the sun rise over the Lake District Hills, just the other side of Morecambe Bay.
While we never had an English White Christmas, we had a drop in temperatures as the winds changed.
Wrapped up in my tired but staple Rab jacket, we played fetch on the beach.
The golden and purple hues bringing sunrise danced across the skies and flocks of birds rose up ready for the next leg of their journey towards warmer climates.
Layers of light brought out the outlines of the hills in the distance.
Bare faced, we threw tennis ball after tennis ball for Apollo to retrieve.
Sometimes he stalked the ball on point with his very serious hunter face...
Othertimes like an excited puppy he watched with glistening enthusiasm, waiting for the launch of his favourite toy.
... and bringing it back with enthusiasm, every time.
... and then waiting for the next throw.
... before the winter sun rose higher and we realised it was time to get back to check on little Aura.