These last couple of days have brought unexpected turns of event: both busy – painting, reorganizing, dutifully travelling on one another’s business; days by turn pleasantly warm and miserably drizzly. Enough rollers for a surfer or two yesterday and today a calmer sea, low tide and a glimpse of weathered rock. I was gazing into the horrid pool when this chap and his companion were spotted bobbing like seals beyond the rocks. It brought a touch of California to a chilly Northumberland afternoon when each in turn stood upright on the waves, though his ride was short-lived and the vicarious fun all too fleeting, a dangerous collision on the cards. Only Newman would have joined the lads, fearless and skilful both, not to mention already wet through. What lies beneath holds no fear for him and he throws himself into the pool as readily as a cheery cove. For me, though, the mysteries of the horrid pool can never be fathomed: its waters once blue-black like oil, sometimes absinthe green; the tiny bubbles popping to the surface as it breathes. After clearing completely through the high tide’s good offices, it is darkening and beginning to murmur again. Creatures are caught in the strata which enclose it: maybe they can explain why some act while others watch.