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 vicissitudes of life

  A week of ups and downs; of Freddie Frankfurter and ‘Doris’ Day. Kemo Sabe laid low with illness; the weather swinging wildly between winter and summer, throwing everything at the country on one mad day; an enchanting encounter with our newest relative and me, your gentle author, in pain once again. What a week…

‘No beautiful thing lasts . . .’

Carl Sandburg was right. Just look at it today!  To the left of these trees, Bamburgh Castle lies atop the Whin Sill wreathed in sea mist. Ever since dawn we have struggled to see familiar landmarks and, as the day dragged on, we saw less and less of the world as we know it, taking…

Season of fruitfulness and unexpected plenty

The weather this last few days has been absolutely glorious and today the country is expecting somewhere or other to break the records for September heat: the hottest it has ever been this late in the year. Up here we have the paradox of Summer clasping hands with Autumn. Everywhere you look, there is plenty,…

‘Springwatch’? We’ve got everything right here!

We hear that BBC’s Springwatch is going to be filming on the Farne Islands again for the new series of this extraordinary live programme, shortly to be nightly on our screens. Whether it’s the puffins, gannets or guillemots – of whom there are currently thousands stinking out the islands with their guano – the Farnes…

Come unto these yellow sands

Yesterday was, for us up here in the extreme north east of England, the first really lovely day of early summer. After a few weeks in which winter’s temperatures returned with a vengeance and, whatever else was happening with that light in the sky, it remained cold and windy, yesterday we all felt we had…

Welcome hither as is the spring to the earth

It is with something like delirious joy that we can report the return of the sand martins to our dunes.  Forerunners – we hope – to the house martins we’re just longing to welcome back to our part of the world, the first sand martins suddenly turned up last Thursday, resuming their domestic duties in…

From this . . . . to this!

It’s a wonderful feeling when you begin – at last – to feel the pulse of life returning (ever so gradually, it has to be said) to your veins. After a winter which has drearily defeated us with its dullness and drizzle, today at last the sun has beaten back the clouds and, collectively, we…

Red morning, grey noon

Being on the beach this morning was like rolling in a bowl of strawberry mousse. We stood and enjoyed the all-encompassing glow but, within 15 minutes, everything changed irrevocably and the forecast dullness, and then the rain, set in. What a lesson in seizing the moment! Such peace and warm stillness: now look out the…

Sunny sausage and thoughtful bear

This has been the most glorious Autumn day. On the beach this morning, a brilliant sunrise was enhanced further by the garish jerkin my tiny sausage friend was wearing for the first time.  Designed to make his whereabouts unmistakable in the murky mornings to come, today he became a veritable daffodil springing up behind this…

It’s those birds again

After three rambunctious days on which Force 8 gales swept down from the north west, hurling massive tides so high up the beach first thing in the morning that there simply wasn’t any beach left on which we could run, summer has returned with a blaze of glory – a set fair sun in a…

Brother and sister: together again

As I write, we are all enjoying the wonderful warmth of the intense sun on our wet fur; it is just like August up here!  We have just returned from our afternoon romp on the beach, an outing blessed in all kinds of ways.  First, the tide was low-ish so there was plenty of room…