Day 28 - Sunday
So the sun has returned, albeit playing hide and seek with clouds. However, this was my chance to do some washing at last, which was good so that I could reduce the building pile of clothes!
Breakfast on the open fire was bacon, eggs and pitta bread with salad - such luxury and one that we often take for granted at home.
With my washing of clothes done I realised that I did not have enough pegs (which a previous tenant had left), to hang my clothes on, so I fashioned some out of narrow willow twigs. They will not win any awards for cunning design, but they at least do the job.
I wandered down to the beach to collect driftwood for tonight's fire, and was rewarded by the sight of the seal again - I assumed it was the same one. This time, seeing him/her closer, I could see it was a 'biggun' and most likely an Atlantic grey seal which are known to feed off our coastlines.
Such a pretty sight watching the seal bobbing on the gentle swell on its back, without a care in the world. I watched him/her for at least half an hour, before it just disappeared to hunt further up the coastline.
Having then sent my 'x' to Buffy, I wandered back to the bothy to catch up with diary notes. Whilst sitting there writing an enormous, and I mean enormous hornet came to say hello. I have not seen any wasps yet, but this one was absolutely a huge hornet. The instinct tells you to ' run away' but then I thought I would just sit and watch as it explored every corner and every window looking for a chance to get out. He/she was a most impressive specimen and after 5 minutes or so, found the open door and departed. We quite often think of hornets as being aggressive, but I am not sure about that - definitely if one tries to mess around with a hornets nest, but individually I think they are ok.
As I emptied my back pack of driftwood it really occurred to me what a magical process the driftwood goes through.
Think about it.
That piece of well worn, smooth, sometime gnarled, sometimes small or huge bit of wood has a real history behind it.
Somewhere on our planet, a seed grew into a tree - perhaps high up on a mountainside, or beside a river or even the sea. Then circumstances prevailed and it fell into water, perhaps a stream, a river or beside the sea, but it eventually washed into the sea to start its journey. Throughout its time in the sea and ocean, it will have be driven by tides and currents either for short distance or around the whole of the globe, who knows. Whilst in the water the action of plankton, tiny molluscs and the salt itself start to break it down into the smooth state we normally find it in. It becomes home for many of the animals and also, I reckon, as floating landmarks on the high seas for birds to navigate to and from. As the current will only move driftwood at around 1-2 knots per hour, birds can use these as landing sites on the water as they scan their watery territory in search of food.
Then, one day, it returns to land again in the shape of a beach somewhere in the world, gets picked up and either used for art, or burnt on a fire. It's ashes then return to the earth where it first started!
What an amazing journey that a piece of wood can take!
Day 29 - Monday
The day started nicely enough with the promise of some sun at least. I am hoping for some good sunny days to get my solar charger up to full charge as I use it a lot on my camera, phone and iPad.
After a quick breakfast of muesli, I wandered down to the beach, to be stopped by the NT ranger who flagged me down to tell me the combination on the lock for the top gate had changed. Wow, that was fortunate as Buffy was arriving this morning and would not otherwise know.
I hurried down to the headland, got a signal for my phone and sent the message to Buffy. It was then that I received a message from her saying that she was arriving earlier - like in 30 minutes time! So, with a turn of pace that I had not been using of late, I half ran up the hill to unlock the gate just in case my message had not got through. I had quite a sweat one by the time I had returned to the bothy and slipped up to my 'hide'. Luckily, she came a bit later on and I was relieved to see her with the van, and thus must have got through the gate without a hitch.
After she left I then went back to the bothy.
What an amazing array of food again, including recipe lists for all my walk meals! Absolutely amazing lady, how lucky I am! Also I had prawns! Cannot wait to cook those tonight with stir fry!
Off after lunch to walk to Clovelly and back - I was trying to step up my walking in readiness for the big walk home.
It also allowed me to view the sea from different angles, and it was quite interesting to watch how, over a comparably short time, the colours and frequency of waves change, even when watching the same patch of water. It was so hypnotic that I drifted off again into a different space (getting a bit of a habit this!). I was imagining those first arrivals to the shore line and how they battled with the incumbents.
These people seemed to be Norsemen, but they could have been sea travelling Celts from Ireland. I have no idea how historically accurate that vision was, but whatever, it seemed like a real struggle getting off boats whilst being pelted by rocks thrown from above! I think I as in among the sea invaders, and seeing our small boat sunk a few feet from the pebbly shoreline, thinking well, we came to plunder, now we are going to have to stay!
I came to with sea birds circling near me - for a daft moment I thought they were vultures!
Time to move on as the sun was definitely shifting across the skyline. I very seldom wore my watch now, because I could get the time (+ or - 30 minutes) correct by seeing where the sun was in the sky. The weather had also changed and a light drizzle kicked in, and stupid me, I had not brought my wet proofs.
In an hour I was back at the bothy, and started to prepare my meal, whilst glancing at the window to see for a break in the sky so I could light my fire. At 7pm there was that break and I lit my cook and cooked a most delicious prawn stir fry.
It was when I sat down on the outside table, that I noticed the beautiful tiny feather behind the 'heart stone' - most definitely Buffy, the darling had left it there for me. I love her!
The sunset tonight was particularly beautiful which a myriad of colours of indigo, purple and greys gently mixing with the orange glow. A wonderful end to the day.
Day 30 - Tuesday
I woke to light drizzle and mist coming off the sea and gently rolling up the valley.
For the first time I heard the unmistakeable sound of a cuckoo someone up the valley, but coming towards me as its call got louder. I quickly got some clothes on hoping to see it. And I was rewarded with a male/female flying down to land on a willow opposite me. They are not big birds, around a dove or small pigeon size I would say with a long tail and grey wings but light striped body. I think they are visitors to our country, but normally herald the start of spring. They of course are the birds who lay eggs in others nest, getting the other hapless bird to feed and bring them up.
After a few calls, it was off heading down the valley. It was really great to catch sight of one, as I really cannot remember the last time I actually saw one, rather than just hear one.
I donned my wet proofs again for a soggy walk along the beach. It was warm though which was a blessing and I actually felt pretty warm. Most of the driftwood was too wet to collect, so I busied myself peering into the rock pools searching for an elusive crab or lobster. Nothing to be seen except the odd little fish darting about.
I started thinking about the dream I had last night which was all related to red serpents. Perhaps this was brought on by my serpent wood in the garden? It occurred to me that serpents represent removing old 'stuff' like habits when they shed their skin.
That was a message for sure aimed at me.
The red electric dragon paper that Alexis gave me, refers to activating in order to nurture. My interpretation of that statement was to move forward in order to truly get closer to the things you love and cherish. Moving forward in this case means leaving behind anything that is not useful in nurturing. That thought process really resonated with me and what has happened to me over the past 30 days.
Another statement is about being guided by the power of life force. I have witnessed and felt that power during my time, be it watching the life force of the ocean, or the opening buds of a dog foxglove flower, to seeing, and I mean really seeing and appreciating all that is around me here in nature. I get that from the physical aspect of seeing and hearing, but also during meditation when I pretty much always now, feel the spirit behind the wonder of our world and our part in it.
Back at the bothy, I got out of my distinctly wet wetproofs and had a bowl of soup inside, as yet again it's too wet to cook outdoors. I also went through another pang of sadness and loneliness that I was not with Buffy and the others. Maybe, my heart was telling me that longer periods of solitude is not my path anymore?
With a grey evening making everything darker earlier, I was tucked up in my sleeping bag by 8pm.