As in the colours of the beach, not my mood. I was ecstatic to be honest, as it was my first day out walking with Honey since the op. I paid for it with copious oozing (let's not go there shall we), but boy was it worth it. My camera really hasn't done justice to the silky quality of the sea. Or the gorgeous blue that seemed to push out from the sea itself. The mackerel sky wasn't bad either. Added to that a seal, Oystercatchers and goose barnacles, and I was in heaven.
The seal was having a lovely time basking in the shallows of Porthmeor. He spent a lot of time watching us knowingly, with his unblinking black eyes. When I stare into the eyes of an animal I'm often struck by who is studying who. He looked a wise and ancient soul to me, as he tread water in the shallows. We've been blessed with the seals this winter. It would seem that the fish in the bay that lured the whales, are also proving irresistible for our local seal population. The whales have moved on now, by the way. I never did see them, but have seen some lovely pictures of them. That will have to do until next time.
I was chuffed to see the Goose Barnacles. They don't wash up that often here. They were attached to a very heavy buoy of some sort, and must have been brought ashore by a combination of rough seas and high tides. They get their name from an olden belief that Barnacle Geese hatched from them. This was in the days before migration was a known aspect of bird behaviour, and they were often found on pieces of driftwood. Hence the belief that the geese laid their eggs on branches of trees before it fell into the water. I thought it was because the shells look a bit like a goose beak.
I have seen them before, attached to a glass bottle. They were writhing and gyrating about in a rather alien fashion, but these lot seemed much quieter. The shells are pearlescent, and I spent a long time inspecting them, taking photographs to show Olly later and just enjoying that they were there at all. Honey was intrigued by them too, but most other people on the beach didn't even seem to notice them. They were hardly difficult to spot, exposed on the tide line like that. I sometimes wonder whether people walk around with their eyes closed. Or even worse, whether people just don't care for this kind of thing. I'll never understand that indifference to the natural world. For me it made my morning walk along arguable one of the loveliest beaches in the UK, even more special.
In other news, I confess that I haven't been up to much. There has been a lot of lying on the sofa with my leg elevated to help ease the swelling and so forth. The operation was a painful but not excruciating, although I compare all pain to the pain of giving birth sans drugs. I just wasn't prepared for my lack of mobility. I could drive, but I couldn't walk. Hardly at all for the first couple of days. And not very well until today. I found it all very frustrating to be honest. It made me appreciate these old legs of mine very much. They may not be the most attractive pins in the world - my boys inherited their gazelle like limbs from someone other than me - but they work, and they get me where I want to go. And I like to go out and about a lot. I am a great walker. So to be curtailed was difficult. I can quite understand my Mum's fear of losing her own mobility, after having a wee glimpse into life without the power of one's own steam.
So I read. A lot. And stared out of the conservatory doors at the garden beyond. I would recommend Patrick Gale's novel 'A Place Called Winter.' It's a poignantly sad yet uplifting novel. The authors' description of landscape was a highlight. I have enjoyed many of his novels. Some of them are set in Cornwall. Gale himself lives on a farm at Land's End. I missed the chance to see him give a talk at our local library last year, but I hope to see him at the Port Eliot festival this summer. Do give him a whirl if you ever come across him. 'A Sweet Serendipity' and 'Notes On An Artist' are other favourites by him.
I watched the garden birds. My garden is in a woeful state. I didn't clear away and tidy before the onset of Autumn. And then the days grew short and dark, and of course we have had incessant rain. I have stood looking out mournfully from my utility room window at the too long grass, and the bedraggled plants. I only pulled up some of the annuals, and I didn't cut back any perennials. I'm such a fair weathered gardener. But I have taken great pleasure from the fact that all manner of birds have been coming into the garden to forage and feed on what I left in the ground. I've decided if anyone asks, it was always the plan to leave the garden so.
For example, I counted twenty three Goldfinches eating the seeds from the Verbena Boriensis. I was desperate for a picture, but they are flighty fellows. In the end I contented myself with enjoying their company. They are such a joyous colour combination of yellow and red. They were joined by chaffinches, blue tits, great tits and a wee wren too. The sparrows seem to have taken up residence in the clematis that tumbles over the arch, and I'm hoping that they may nest there this year.
We already have a resident Blackbird and his companion. He's the first into the garden in the low light of the morning, and has staked his garden as his. His girl likes to busy herself down in the leaf litter, while he struts about on the fence. She flings it all up into the air looking for grubs, and he occasionally flies down and plucks a worm from the grass. He's been joined by a rather handsome Robin, who is also all bluff and bluster. He flits and flies around the garden, and has put on a rather wonderful aerobatic display by zooming around the shrubs, making curving shapes as he goes. I've never seen this kind of behaviour before. Most of the Robins I've met have just shouted at me while bobbing their head up and down. Or soothed my frayed edges with their wonderful bird song. Does anyone know what he may be up to? CT, do you have any ideas?
So I have been kept company by books, birds and unadorned Christmas cake. It was meant to be for my Mum, but she didn't take it home. It's gone now. I'm happy and sad about that; happy that it has finally gone, yet sad that there's none left. There's not a sweet thing in the house. Unless you count the fourteen jars of marmalade that are lined up on the kitchen window sill. It was a bit of a faff to make, but it was the good kind of faff. And not to blow my own trumpet, but it tastes lush
Onwards and upwards for the week ahead, I think.
A big thank you to you all for your kind well wishes. It warmed my cockles. You are all so very lovely xx