iggandfriends

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


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2nd February

The phone-call leads to a dash across the hills, then a rapid drive down into the next valley. The roads are not pleasant, but passable. Onwards to Aberdeen. Playing the waiting game for news, I head down to the sea. The waves are whipping up and over the seafront, and the rain hits with stinging force. Further out, the ships are queueing to come into port, hoping for a safe haven against the coming storm.


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11th January 2021

An escape to the seaside today. A hospital visit combined with a walk on the promenade. The tide is full in, and the wind whipping the waves, so that they come rolling in with a crash and a thud, sea-spray reaching up and over. The icy rain grips my breath, and freezes my nose. On the embankment, a flock of dunlins dances in and out of the incoming tide, seeking sustenance, puffed up against the cold. I huddle further into my coat as I stride along, trying to outpace the worst of the weather. I pause and turn to face the incoming tide, arms outstretched, balanced on the wind. Aware of the power pent-up within. Closing my eyes, I stretch hearing and sensation until I am only aware of the boom of the tide, the lash of the wind, and the creeling of the gulls overhead. Time passes, until with a final nod to the tide, I must move on.


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Caterpillars and dunlin

The wind is behind the tide today. It rises up the beach, riding high onto the shore. Seaweed tumbles in on the waves, rolling into large caterpillars along the water’s edge. A flock of dunlin perch, absorbed in rummaging for the next tasty morsel.  Slowly I move closer. And closer. Timing my steps to the crash of the sea. Grandmothers footsteps writ large. A sudden move and off they go. Flashes of black and white, curved scimitars skimming their way along the strand.

P1090971

For more info on dunlin, check out this link. Lovely little birds.


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Angels wings

I wake with a mind full of angels

Of white feathers and halos

And of more.

Swords and fire

Fierce love.

Messages from heaven

Protection.

Adoration.

I rise, mind still buzzing

Glance out the window

Watch in wonder

As three swans gracefully swim past

Floating serenely on the sea

White feathers gleaming in the sunlight

Heads dipping in among the waves

This year’s cygnet protected

With a fierce love

I watch and wonder

What message God will send

By his angels

This Michaelmas tide.

swans at michaelmas

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.  Psalm 91:11


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Silver sun and rainbow cloud

Silver sun played across the sea today, chasing waves with shimmering light. The seagulls whirled and skirled in celebration, dancing in the gentle breeze. Out at sea a gannet dives, black silhouette against the brightness. And above a cloud shares its rainbow, rejoicing in the summer’s eve.

 

cloud rainbow


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Holidays and memories

When I was sixteen

We moved to a place

With views of mountains and fields

With estuary and sand dunes

Where you could paddle

Along the narrow inlets

At low tide

And watch the fish dart ahead

Flashes of silver in the sunlight

And feel the flicker of flatfish

Disturbed by your passage

As they skimmed the surface

of the sand

It was not always a safe place

For the tide could turn and rush in

Leaving you in a mad scramble

Towards the shore

Safety

But not for anything

Would I have missed

The touch of the fish

As they tickled my feet

tralee1

A week spent away in Benderloch, just north of Oban. No email, no internet. Just the sea, the mountains, and the green… bringing back memories of my time near Porthmadog. I was up in Benderloch for Woolfeis, the gaelic wool festival. Great fun, of which more later.


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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.

P1090419


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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