Books Magazine

She Sells Seashells On The Seashore

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
It has been a week that has run like an horrendous tongue twister.  My sister Lesley has a very classy home on the top of the highest hill overlooking Ramsey Bay in the Isle of Man. Two years ago, when her daughter left to live on the mainland, she was so sick of rattling around in it that she converted it into a rather special home-from-home for visitors and now attracts business people, families visiting their relatives and people over for weddings and funerals.  You know the sort of thing.
Recently she came over to the mainland look after her two beautiful grand-daughters, whose Mummy was poorly, so that her son could get back to work. Well that's what families do, isn't it? That was fine until last week. She fell and broke her ankle, carrying the vacuum cleaner downstairs.  I got a call from casualty while at my cousin's funeral, to say that she couldn't make it.  As things went, the damage wasn't too bad but she still had to have a cast.   Then came the bad news.  The lady who was living in and running the hotel for her was suddenly taken ill and had emergency surgery on Friday.  I want to now say that was the week that was.  So where is all this leading? you are asking. What does it have to do with the seashore?  
She Sells Seashells On The Seashore
Well, as I write I am sitting in a gorgeous bay window, watching the sun set on the seashore in Ramsey Bay. OK, so I have to serve breakfast to seven very pleasant guests, make a few beds and of course, I got the vacuuming too. I am here because that's what families do, isn't it.  When Lesley's cast is off and Julie's stitches are out, I will come home.  In the meantime, I am busy in the mornings but plan to begin beach-combing for sea shells tomorrow.  I didn't find time to write a new poem this week but this one was written at a workshop run by Shaun Brookes as part of our Walking on Wyre project last summer.  The project completely changed my outlook on life, for many very subtle reasons. Poetry was a part of that process; finding love was the rest.   P.S Wish you were all here - Woodbrae, Ramsey. 
  On Rossall Beach Russet pebbles. Poured out like drops of blood, across the sand, on Rossall beach. And here, three course of Accrington, still bonded firm though broken out in one large chunk. Like my wall: crumbling into time-worn memory, fired by fifteen  summers rise and set. A wall battered by raging tides; hardened by salty sun; all cohesion worn away by relentless ebb and flow. Separated, shattered memories, swirling in the rolling surf, rendered smooth by gentle kissing and cajoling waves. Russet pebbles. Poured out like drops of blood, across the sand. On Rossall Beach.
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