Sunday, 27 July 2014

A Walk on the Wild Side

A yearning for solitude and a desire to be free from the stifling heat, noise and pollution of the City and the mayhem of modern life, enticed me to escape to a place not far away, but where one may feel that time has forgotten.

Through my car windscreen I spotted the turning, where a rambling rose scrambles through the hawthorn hedge 

marking the entrance to a narrow road, dusty with sand, another world - that leads away from the hustle and bustle of civilization, 

where the occasional abandoned cottage 

is slowly being reclaimed by nature.

A man of indeterminate age, stands in the doorway of a ramshackle dwelling, he wears trousers held up with braces and a string vest, (I kid you not). As I pass he raises his hand slowly in greeting. 

Once home to an RAF aerodrome and radar station, this area with it's big skies became forsaken when the base closed over forty years ago.

(you can just make out the two old watchtowers on the skyline)

A narrow lane lined with fuchsias and red valerian leads off the road and 

towards a tiny overgrown path that is a secret way down towards the beach 

and a little cove.

To the right of the path is a gate that leads through

to a sandy track

and uphill to the headland

overlooking the bay and beyond to the lighthouse.

Where wildflowers grow in the meadows that sweep down from the cliffs to sandy coves and the sea; including

Orchids, Scabious,

Pink Thrift, Birds Foot Trefoil

Wild Pansy and Kidney Vetch

Wild Thyme, 

Red Clover.

I breathed in the clean pure sea air, gently infused with the sweet scent of nectar.

As I walked the air was alive with sounds - the drone of bumble-bees, grasshoppers and cries of birds; sea birds; fulmars and sand-martins that nest in the sandy cliffs,

swooping and diving in front of me;

and skylarks calling as they flew suddenly upwards from the grasses, disturbed at the sound of my footsteps.

I trip over butterflies as I walk, 

the wings of Red and Six Spot Burnet moths burr busily as they feed upon the Scabious,

Meadow browns flutter through the tangle of grasses

and dance in the air 

whilst the flashes of blue flitting around me and amongst the wildflowers are Common Blue Butterflies, 

(this pair I saw mating in the hot sunshine).

A little cove with lichen covered rocks and a beach made up entirely of shells, 

that tinkle at the slightest touch 

like jewels in a jewelry box.

On the horizon - the white sails of a yacht against the deep cornflower blue of the sea and lighter blue sky.

As the day drew to a close I left the Wildflower Meadows

 and headed back to the cove, 

where the sounds of seals barking carried across the water from Seal Island.

Reluctantly I left the cove behind me and returned to the car to drive back along the dusty road 

and to the rambling rose at the end of the place where time forgot - Back to the Future and heat of the City.


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