At this time of year, with its turbulent and increasingly changeable weather, astonishingly high tides preventing walkers from proceeding along the beach, winds from the continent whipping up the waves, it is the ever-darkening mornings we resent the most. The fingers of the night clasp our shoulders, delaying our fun by degrees a little more every day and we will soon be at that time of ‘no morn, no noon’ of which someone famous once wrote. Yet this undistinguished picture shows something of what this autumnal shift can surprise us with: an orange moon as big and bright as the dawn, blessing us with its morning glow as, facing it from over the North Sea, the sun itself slides up from the horizon. Such a phenomenon came as a splendid surprise, a kind of pumpkin to remind me to change my Next Big Day widget in preparation for Hallowe’en.
This is a time of year when things are afoot, and no mistake. Attached to the house has grown of late an opulent kind of bunkhouse, both upstairs and down, giving NuNu and I much more room for our sleeping bags and, for Barnaby, the prospect of a sunny room where his enormous memory-foam bed can fit. Patiently we three have watched and listened as the work has speedily progressed; I have inspected it and found it all good. I have not wandered when the side gate disappeared – what need have I of wandering? Rumours abound that a Dickensian name suitable for an addition to our clan may shortly need to be decided on; a long name, perhaps, for a small pup. Within a few weeks we will undertake a journey to see to which he seems most suited. This is my best thing for a very long time.
Except that this morning, as we clung to the rolling waves on the tide-filled beach, before my feet rolled out of the surf a perfect sea urchin, whole and entire, thrown up into my path with remarkable ordinariness as though such bounty were commonplace. Thank you, Great Spirit, for the kaleidoscope we call our days: on a dark and dingy morning, to find the perfect ball.