Life, crafty stuff, long walks, thoughts, and little oddities.


Fishing nets and rockpools

Off down to the beach to play in the rock-pools. Bright green net at the ready. I stand, wriggling my toes, watching. Staring into the clear water. The seaweed gently drifts to and fro in the current. Or perhaps it’s something else. Slowly, gently, I lower the net into the water. Quickly scoop upwards, raising the contents up to the surface. A tiny shrimp stares up at me, paddling from side to side. Body almost translucent. I give the net a swirl and off it swims. Another scoop. A net full of seaweed and sand. Another pool, and the third try collects a small flatfish, darting around frantically. I gently tip it out and watch it hurry away. A red armed crab stares belligerently at me from under a rock, claws clacking. Maybe I’ll leave him alone. The tide starts to swirl its way in, eddying in. I head for home, fishing net over my shoulder, dripping seawater. A smile on my face.



Sulks and tantrums

Clouds sulk overhead, glowering down bad-temperedly. The sky is brooding, considering what to hurl next. Air clammy, almost tangible as I walk. The Isle of Man disappears under the mist and haze. Fishing boats are moored up in the harbour. Their registration marks speak of retreat far from home – Campbeltown, Greennock, Ullapool, distant places. Boats driven into the bay by the rolling bank of fog. After yesterday’s glorious sunshine, the weather is having a tantrum.

sulky sky

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Flatfish and crabs

Low tide and the sand stretches out in front of me, rippling out to the sea. The water in the rock pools has been warmed by the sun all afternoon. I take off my shoes and paddle in, gasping slightly at the cold. Not as warm as it appears! In the depths, the sea lettuce waves gently in the current. Gentle steps I take, staring into the water. Puffs of sand rise up as the tiny flatfish and blennies swim rapidly away. A young plaice – no bigger than my thumb nail – lies camouflaged on the bottom. Sensing my approaching toes it flees rapidly away. A crab stares at me from behind a curtain of seaweed, before burying himself in the sandy floor. Slowly I wade my way up to the head of the bay, stopping to stare now and then.


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Warm winds and sunset seas

Shimmering seas merging into blue skies. A fishing boat seems to almost float in the air, the line between earth and heaven barely visible. The warm breath of wind brushes past, whispering a welcome. A curlew soars above, singing greetings. Content, I sit and watch as the sky slowly turns golden, turning my face to follow the light.



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Bitter salt and sweet water

The wind stirs the boats in the harbour. A gentle clanging as ropes bang against mast, rocked by the waves. The fishing fleet is out in the bay. All seems serene. Yet blown on the wind comes a raucous sound. The other side of the sea wall,  the tide runs straight up to the rocks. Where the river runs into the sea. There the gulls are gathering. Not floating serenely, but in a frenzy of excitement. Here, where bitter salt meets sweet water, life explodes into being.

raucous gulls


Herons on watch


Stepping out into the winter sun.  The otter has left his calling card on the boat ramp in the night. No sign of him this morning. The curlew hunts for food among the tumbled seaweed, while the heron stands on watch, waiting for the incoming tide. The low light of the shortest day reflects off the rock-pools, and the seagulls creel their song.



Otters at dawn

The day shimmers its way into being.

A dawning of pastel tones

As night slowly blends into day

The sea glows with clear light

Paused on the height of the tide


There in the shallows

A moving shadow

Dark brown head

Elegant tail flips up

The otter disappears

Ripples spread across still water

Pause for a breath

The head emerges

Long body following

Rolling on to its back

Otter at rest in the dawn light

otter dawn

No picture of an otter, I’m afraid. I was too busy watching. But this was this mornings dawn, after the otter had gone home to bed!


North winds and southern lights

The sunset glows golden in deep blue sky. Clouds dusted round the edges with amber. The headland stands proud in silhouette. The lighthouse signals its presence, out on the south point. A flash of light. Pause and count to ten… then another flash… pause … and another. A silent guardian in the evening light. A fishing boat is out in the bay. Riding light on as it sits at anchor, hauling up lobster pots. The north wind scuds across the water, whipping up the waves. The harbour beacon summons the fishing fleet home, racing against the tide. Darkness deepens. Stars shine in the clear sky, clouds blown onwards. The port is at rest.

mull of galloway
‘Your word is a lamp to my feet  and a light to my path’  Psalm 119:105