Sunday, 14 October 2012

Distant Thunder

I woke up with a terrible headache this morning, as is, regrettably, my wont.
It was a miserable, wet morning, and as I opened the shutters, I hoped Suffolk was enjoying better weather. My Papa is in Suffolk, and today is his 91st birthday.
Thanks to the rain, the early constitutional in the orchard was brief, damp and unrelieving, but by mid morning, however, the sky had cleared a little although my head had not, so when the In Charge pulled on his boots to take the dogs out, I dropped everything and went too.
My headaches don't generally like fresh air.

We went to the headland and found that the catamaran had pulled in. It has been gone this month or more.

Apparently it belongs to a family who used to come and camp on the headland every summer with a bevy of children and dogs. They live in the same area the In Charge comes from in the south west of England, and being a sociable sort of fellow, he often used to stop and chat with them in the old, camping days. It seems they have sold the van and the tents and whatever else they had, and bought a catamaran instead.
It flew, they said, at an almost unseemly 14 knots across the Bay of Biscay recently.
It is lashed together, Polynesian style. Not with string, I hope. Or dissolving stitches.

The tide was so low that we decided to go to our favourite beach. We haven't been there for awhile.
On the way we drove past flaming red hot pokers growing wild by the side of the road. My father would like them - he likes orange flowers. Were he closer than Suffolk, I would have picked a bunch and taken them to him this afternoon, in time for tea perhaps, and a slice of Happy Birthday Cake.

Not far from the red hot pokers is the little gateway that leads into the back of an old estate. I always want to duck down and go in but we never do. The laneway beyond the gate looks impassable these days, hedged in with brambles and thorn trees, though once it must have been their path to the sea. It leads to the woods behind the house. I have heard there is an old pet cemetery there, the last resting place of the family's beloved dogs, but I have never seen it.

When we got to the beach, we had it to ourselves, and ambled along the shore watching the young gulls, and the dunlins dancing over the water.

We hadn't thought to take Model Dog's ball with us, so she contented herself with motorbiking and pursuing the end of a piece of seaweed which the In Charge threw with satisfying dexterity. Model Dog never complains about my ineptitude with ball-throwing, but it was obviously nice to have a proper sportsman around.

We stopped to inspect the mussels on the rocks by the swimming pool. They have grown a lot over the summer, the In Charge informs me. He notices these things. Who knows, by next year, they might make a handy picnic for someone armed with a bottle of wine and a frying pan. (Note to self.)

I paused to take a picture at Lover's Leap before we turned and wandered back again.
My headache was gone, and as always, we felt calm and unravelled. A perfect Sunday outing.

As we left the beach, I stopped to listen to the crashing roar of the waves.
Like the sound of distant thunder.
It varies in intensity and volume, but it is the perpetual soundtrack to my life.
I hear it from my bed, from the garden, from the courtyard.
I don't know if I could live without it.


  1. Lovely lovely post. The tempo of your writing has, as always a calmness, that marries beautifully with your words. I shall carry the story of your walk with me this evening.

    1. Thanks Isobel. The beach is a very calming place! Lovely to see you again. Hope you are feeling better. Been thinking about you!

  2. I had a horrible headache yesterday, so when I wandered along with you on your walk, I could see that the walk would have taken mine away as well.

  3. That's a lovely thing to say, thank you. Sorry about your headache - aren't they a pill!


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