The last two weeks in November I spent alone on the shores of Northumberland opposite Holy Island (Lindisfarne). I’d hoped for wild weather so that I could press on with writing a sequel to my novel ‘Tom Fleck’. I certainly had days when gales hammered at the windows and rain fell in sheets but, as you’ll see, I had the most wonderful days of sunlit distraction.
Between my refuge and Lindisfarne is this shallow bay. Miles of mudflats and sand bars that are covered at high water.
And this is why I came away with a mere 7,500 words of the sequel to ‘Tom Fleck’. As the weather swept through, I spent hours gazing instead of writing.
Wondering at stranded sea-dragons.
The whispering of the mud as the tide ebbed. The tiny twitterings and tickings of the mud as the falling water exposed the burrowings of billions of creatures. And the light across the mud flats. And the sight of birds, and the sound of birds – the cries and the beat of wings. Eider, Shelduck, Greenshank, Sandpiper, Wigeon, Peewit, Smew, Whooper Swan – and finally, calling the night down . . . the Curlew.