{Nina from Tabiboo} Starfish


We’d like to welcome our first contributor to the {Story Behind the Photo}.



Hello – I’m Nina from a blog called Tabiboo and I live on the South East coast (UK) with my family.

My children have been born and bred here – it’s more their home then mine, I’m a country girl at heart – and coastal living is second nature to them, but even they can still be pleasantly surprised by the wonders of the ocean and its natural inhabitants on an average day out at the beach.

It all started last Summer in the holidays when an every day jaunt down to one of the local beaches turned into a rescue mission.

We like to get up early on the days we know the tide will be at it’s lowest point – it makes for the best rock pooling.

We gathered up our things and set a little patch on the sand near the exposed rocks with blankets, fishing nets, buckets and other essentials for a morning at the beach.

The most we ever find are crabs hiding out of the way, caught out by the tide, smoothed over pebbles, boshed up pieces of glass, limpets, winkles or tiny fishes way to fast for little hands to scoop up and examine. But the children love the exploring and jumping from one pool to another squealing to one another ‘look what I’ve found – come quick’ is all the fun of the game.

But last Summer we found more then we bargained for.

Starfish by the dozen all stranded on the hot sand long forgotten by the tide that would be hours before it came back in again to rescue the little critters and return them back home – if they lasted that long – and with the added worry of hungry seagulls hovering above.

I know nature should be left to do ‘its thing’ – I’ve always taught the children that it’s best to leave alone – but I couldn’t help feeling sorry for these wondrous creatures of the sea and despite all that we knew, it was the children that spurred me on in the end.

Whether it was the right thing to do or not we spent hours that morning locating, scooping up and rescuing the poor little things that had found themselves a long way from home and finding a safe place for them to hide until the tide rescued them again.

Of course it wasn’t just a one day ‘thing’ we spent a fair amount of time last Summer saving starfish – well I like to think that’s what we were doing – and it added another element to our days out at the beach.

My children are amazing in so many different ways, each with their own characters, independence, values, views and much, much more, but they all pulled together that Summer in a way that makes me – as a mother – so extremely proud of them.

Sometimes it’s difficult to teach how to care or how to share and yes they do have their moments when I could literally pull my hair out, but through a simple act like ‘saving starfish’ I knew that fundamentally they knew where I was coming from – that my values are being heard…..if not practised all the time!

Discover more posts from The Story Behind the Photo series.


  • May 22, 2012

    This is an lovely story. It was a great little inside glimpse into your life. It has been great getting to know you, loving your pictures, your traveling adventures, recipes, yarn creations, caring for your garden and the simple moments. Your creative journey will take you many more places. You have a beautiful way of telling a story and painting a picture with ease. So happy and proud of you!

  • May 22, 2012

    What a lovely, lovely story. We’ve done some similar explorations during our family’s summer vacations at the beach, and I’ve always wanted to live in a coastal town just so that we can explore the beach every day.

    You really have a way with words – you’ve made this story so relatable and touching.

    ps.: I’m loving this site!

  • May 22, 2012

    oh Nina, i love the way you write…this is such a beautiful story of your summer hol saving starfish, i actually pictured your family scooping them up and running little legs in welly boots running to the distant tide to save them… ;0)xx

  • May 23, 2012

    Such a wonderful story Nina! Your kids are lucky to have such an amazing mom, and what precious gifts they are to you!! xo Heather

  • May 23, 2012

    The Starfish-Saver-Boos! How lovely Nina! I admire you all for your compassion…amazing,

    Sarah -x-

  • May 25, 2012

    Gorgeous photo, gorgeous story! I am sure your kids will never forget their starfish saving summer! X

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