Saturday, August 11, 2007

Beachcomber

A full week has passed since my last posting. Doesn't time fly when you're busy? The Welsh branch of my family are up here in Lancaster for a week or so. That's kept me occupied with two grandchildren. Rhys is now seven years old and wanting an adventure or two while his younger sister, although only four, wants a piece of the action.
In the earlier part of the week, my wife took them both to various venues such as the canal to feed the ducks, (they must be the best fed ducks in Lancashire!) and to an amusemnt park or two. So while I was free, I took the chance while the weather was good to go down the coast on my bicycle and do a bit of beachcombing at Cockersands, part of Morecambe bay. Here you can see it at low tide. The tide goes out some ten miles in places. You need to know what time the tide starts running. It comes in very quickly. Thirty knots is not unknown. Indeed, Morecambe Bay's activity rivals the Severn Estuary.
But it has a beautiful quality in its wildness despite its closeness to civilization.
A close up of the sands photographed from the safety of an adjacent rock platform. I have too much respect for the sands themselves to venture on them alone. I love the way the sky is reflected by the water and the way the image is broken up by the sand bars. I think a painting is in the offing here.
A plank of driftwood whose cavities are filled with small stones from tidal activity. Nature's own artistic creation. ready made art, eh? It is all around us, you only have to know where to look.
The art of beachcombing is to look for nothing in particular. Most of it is the joy of the open air, in this case a stiff westerly breeze, the multple sounds of the various wildfowl and being alone.
This enjoyment solitude is a bit of a paradox. I always want to bring someone to share this joy with me, but then the solitary quality will be lost. Bit of a koan there.

A couple of days later.....
Rhys is keen on drawing and has obvious talent even at this early stage. I took him to the local park in Lancaster for a morning's drawing where he produced some interesting work. Yesterday we took a bus ride to Morecambe Town and he too indulged a bit of beachcombing. He got back to Lancaster with a rucksac full of odds and ends including enough feathers for him to just about make a pair of wings for himself. Just like Ikaros.
No, maybe not; we all know what happened to him, don't we?

As for Cerian, she had to be in on the act too, but I think she's a la'al bit young to go beachcombing just yet. Instead we rolled out a lenth of fine grain Anaglypta and taped it face down on the table. Then with paints, pencils and anything else that works she drew a picture of random objects; a girl with pigtails, seagulls, a dayglo green sun with an orange corona, and a lot of ordered zig-zag lines to make up an abstract pattern. Interesting. I'll take phote ASAP.

So that's the story so far. They stay for a few more days before returning to the Valleys. Then next week-end it'll be our turn to go there.

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