Just one of those days

This morning, trundling along the beach (so far, so routine), it felt different. It was just one of those days: magic, despite evidence being to the contrary. Rather grey and utterly still; the sea quiet, and almost indistinguishable from the sky. A tide drawing ever nearer (by the end of the week, we’ll be watching…

The dews of comfort

tIt has taken a very long time – and it’s been a tedious and painful haul, for everyone involved – but I am now almost completely over my horrible abscess. Lancing the enormous thing left a gaping hole at least two inches in diameter, through which my chest wall was clearly visible. Kemo Sabe winced…

Let there be light

Mid-winter is here, the days are depressingly brief and daylight itself is definitely rationed. Though it’s exciting, checking out the daily change in temperature and wind speed before we begin our trundle, some days it looks as though the sun will never rise but usually  – at least by the time we get to St…

More precious for their rarity

Today we celebrate the tiny yellow flowers which have sprung up here and there upon the heathland where we walk come afternoon.  To some, ordinary and unremarkable because so commonplace in our literature; to others, precious because so rarely seen.  John Clare, that poet of nature, referred to them in this sonnet: The dancing Cowslips…

Metamorphosis or Spring is in the air

Things are looking up! After a couple of weeks of really ghastly wet and windy weather, everything has settled down wonderfully and, for the last ten days or so, up here in the north east we have seen calm and peace at last; clear, crisp mornings and delicious morning runs. Also, the recent storms have…

Waiting for the whales

Today we came across yet another young grey seal corpse, rolling in the surf of high tide. This one was upside down (and, it turned out, headless), so clearly dead already, which is a kind of relief in a way; sometimes getting them back in the water can be such a chore and potentially very…

Flowers in the bud that will never bloom

One of the things we love about this part of Northumberland is sensing the nearness of history, ancient footsteps beneath our own. Every day as we trundle along the beach, the imprint of the past provides our pathway. Saints Oswald, Aidan and Cuthbert travelled around this area all the time and knew the ways we…

Go find it, faeries

The lighter mornings are upon us and today the sun came bursting up into our lives. On the early news we heard with warm hearts that in the south the flood levels are dropping a bit. As a boy who cannot bear getting my enormously furry legs wet for less than a really decent retrieve,…