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.
The rising tide brings in wildfowl that feed on the sea grass. Here is a company of wintering Pale Fronted Brent Geese; family groups of migrants from Spitzbergen.
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.
Gazing at footprints on the shore.
Wondering at stranded sea-dragons.
And pagan totems so near to the cells of St Cuthbert and St Oswald.
Bright, cold dawns.Sunsets that made me linger outdoors in the chilled air.
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.
Great photos! Particularly love the rainbow.
Lovely photos, Harry.
I passed by Lindisfarne a couple of months ago when I was working up there. I got to see it from afar but one day I hope to actually visit the place too.
Great to hear you’re working on a sequel to ‘Tom’.
Best Wishes for the New Year.
It’s good to hear from you, Paul. Best wishes for 2013; may it bring peace.
Harry, I have nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I hope you will accept the nomination.
Thank you, Vera. I’ll be glad to accept. It’s lovely of you to do that; it brings a flush of encouragement to me on a dull, cold day. I was lifted already; just minutes ago a huge skein of wild geese passed overhead, going south.
Wow, wish I was there to enjoy the spectacle. Thank you for accepting the award.
Simply Beautiful! And what makes it so simply beautiful (among other poetic, fascinating and Informative features) are what I find so Perfectly Balanced in Nature, namely: Simplicity and Perfect Beauty. 🌍♻☯🙏
Thank you, Jeff. You’ve brightened a grey afternoon.
Lovely Harry! 🙂 So much to be found on that beach! I remember in Whitby, beautiful as the place is, there was absolutely nothing to be found on the beach for some reaso: no kelp, no wood, no shells! 🙂
For flotsam and jetsam, and particularly kelp, you need to be here at the time of late Autumn storms. There was kelp on the shore today at Sandsend – and much of the sand had vanished for winter, leaving wide beds of pebbles. I picked up a fine piece of jasper.
My daughter has been collecting the more artistic bits of wood, for including in her ceramic works.
Flotsam and jetsam 🙂 I am going to google those! The ceramic sounds intruiging! Does your daughter have a website to have a look at her work?
Ailsa’s work can be seen here: http://www.turnstonegallery.net/ and next to hers is my name. So look at Ailsa Nicholson.
Thank you Harry, I found the site and the names, wow that is a great gallery! I am trying to find the art, I noticed in the news section that this weekend is a festive one in the gallery with nibbles and drinks, so have a good time! 🙂
We were there for red wine and mince pies after walking the shore.
Here is Ailsa’s individual art page; it is better I think: http://www.axisweb.org/seCVPG.aspx?ARTISTID=8421
That is beautiful, your daughter makes the nicest objects! I esp. like “Sirens”, it looks a lot like jet. You are a really artistic family!
Thanks for showing your photos, Harry. Lovely to see them after listening to your diary!
Beautiful piece and beautiful peace too, looking at your fabulous pictures.
It certainly is a very special place. I have only visited once.
Oh dear, homesick for Flamborough — same coastline , same North sea, same sounds, smells and coastline.. Yes, I even miss the gales roaring round the houses.
Yes, Chris – California will not be the same. But, with this cold wind battering my window with rain that is just at melting point, you can enjoy your orange groves and vinyards and think of me cringing below the moor. We’ve been to the shops – there is a missing cabbage, and I must go out to the car in this for it might be in the boot . . . Heavy coat and hat needed.
Why yes, hunny! Please do. And thank you – it has been a while since I stirred the blog.
The Northumbrian? Well now, there’s a thought.
Harry, this is utterly beautiful – and must have refreshed your spirit so that Tom Fleck will flow easily from now on. Do you mind if I send a link to Sally?
PS why not submit it to The Northumbrian?