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The Sea

By Ashleylister @ashleylister

    We are very fortunate in this country that no place is far from the sea. I was brought up in Aberdeen, but our house was on the very boundary of the city so we were about 6 miles from the beach...and what a beach ! Miles of golden sands. Hence the  saying...the Silver city by the golden sands. All along the east coast there are wonder beaches backed by sand dunes and then cliffs that tower over secluded bays. The North Sea has a distinctive aroma about it that I was made very aware of when I holidayed at Cresswell on the NE coast of England. It was nostalgic for me and I've not experienced that scent on this local coastline.

  I always long for the sea. When I lived in Oxford it was a 6 weekly ritual to go to either Poole or Weymouth- as I had a yearning for the seaside. Just to walk along a seafront or sit on the sand..just to breathe the air.

   Then when we moved to Buckie we had a cliff top house looking out over the Moray Firth to the mountains of Caithness in the distance. I had a chair placed in the bay window where I could look down onto Whale's Wig (the name of the small cove below). On stormy days we'd hear the pebbles rolling up and down the shoreline, foam would fly over us and land on the windows. I'd keep a look out for boats across the Firth, expecting at any moment to see one disappear below the waves...but the lifeboat would often race out to rescue.

  Strangely although I still live in a seaside town I don't have the same urge to see the sea. I have never walked on the sand in Cleveleys nor Blackpool, and only on a few occasions have I pottered round the wave line in Fleetwood. You see I have a fear of quicksands and turning tides that I never had along the North Sea coastline.It is quite irrational. I don't like the texture and color of the sands along this coast either.

   I have just returned from a brief holiday in Kintyre where the coastline is punctuated by long inlets and sea lochs where the character is again completely different. Where rivers enter and the tide retreats the shore is muddy and claggy. In others, the shore is littered with large boulders and bounded by interesting strata creating rock pools to explore. Each inlet had its own micro climate. So it might be cool and raining in one and a short drive to the next would provide a sunny , warm atmosphere. 

   I jotted down a few thoughts after spending an idyllic couple of hours at Melfort Bay.


The Sea
Melfort Bay
Walk with me along the shore of Melfort Loch,Where the tide is out leaving behind dried seaweedWhich crunches underfoot. Across the mirrored water I see Islay and the Paps of Jura.The sun is glinting on the still waterMaking me squint and reach for sunglasses.Shoreside rocks are laid down in horizontal layersForming natural steps with pools of seawaterWhere small fish are trapped and panic at my footsteps.The land behind me is rough pasture grazed by Highland cattle.Merging into bracken and heather on a rugged crag That rises to pierce the clear blue sky.I turn again towards the sea and let my eyes explore the scene--A yacht is anchored close to shore- a swimmer floats nearby.A sound attracts my attention, and I spy a small boat heading for an islet.Two goats spy me and trot over to the fence,Allowing me to tickle their noses and ears.Reluctantly I turn away from the soundless sea -Vowing to return...
Thank you for reading, Kath
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