Lost and Found

I might have gone a little beach crazy these past few days.

Seagulls feeding on the dark line of miniscule shellfish deposited along the tide line.

I was amused at the terns with their black masks, scooting with insistent peeps, like backing trucks, above the shoreline breakers, every so often diving in after something their keen and studious gaze has spotted.

Sometimes one or two of the larger karoro / black-backed gulls drop down, just to check what the lil guys (the red-bills) are up to. Slightly puzzled, they stand there looking helpless, redundant, their yellow beaks too bulky to pick up the small shellfish. Their attempt at nonchalance fools nobody.

The leathery strength of the bull kelp, the delicacy of the more lacey varieties. The rich colours. The design. The shape and drag arrangement where the different specimens have been left stranded. Abandoned by the tide.


The other day I did a word count on the manuscript I’m working on and realised that really I am probably only halfway. One deadline has already passed me by. I am now heading for another.

The arc needs sustaining. Back to the inspirations and reference points; the books, the photos, the YouTube videos. The music (muse-ic.)

The walks are a break from the slog which writing often becomes – the times when it feels like all I’m doing is placing word after word after word. Building a stone wall; fitting different shaped rocks into the right spaces. Taking another look and removing them again in order to put them somewhere else where they are a better fit; or putting them aside, leaving them out altogether.

These mild autumn days we’re experiencing at present, are a tonic. They encourage slow, reflective mornings. The stillness causes time to slow down. Time to drink a cup of tea, take in the sky, the clouds, the seagulls, the trees, the flowers, the birds and butterflies.

Sometimes a distracted bumble bee will buzz inside our open door, take a nosy tour through, then buzz out the door again. Or a small, nervous spider might scuttle along the line where carpet meets lino, to be be picked up with a tissue and deposited into the garden. The clock will chime. The sun will creep under the eaves.

My afternoon slowly fills up with writing / research/ reading. Listening.

As I write, the music I listen to varies between alt. country, the latest rock and folk bands from Scotland and classical. I will listen to the music on Spotify or on the Concert Programme. Sometimes I’ll tune into our friend Gary on Star, his friendly brand of faith somewhat reassuring in a world that appears to be a bit wobbly on its axis.

Early evening will arrive. Our door will close on the outside world. The blinds pulled down.

Tonight the clocks will go back one hour. The time fairy is going to replace the hour it snuck away from us in spring.

And we’ll sleep right through it.

St Kilda beach’s lost and found corner

If I ever feel I’ve lost the plot, the muse, the music, usually finds me.


Writer from Dunedin, New Zealand.

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