seal is broken (22/July/18)

seal is broken….

… it made me sad to think seal, poor seal, poor probably lost and most likely blubbery, seal is broken… broken how, I wondered… physically, or perhaps psychologically, maybe even spiritually… how can you know, you can’t exactly ask a seal, unless you’re another seal and one who even cares enough to take an interest and not be too busy swimming, eating fish and doing banana on rocks… so this seal, this broken seal, is left to its own devices as the Sunday mist sits there in a way only Sunday mists do, lacklustre, disinterested, aimless with no intention of going anywhere but being here which as it happens is exactly what it’s like today, and today being Sunday fits exactly that… the broken seal can’t be best pleased, unless it likes the sensation of the cool fresh water attracted to its coat it like cling-film… he might look around and find nothing more than vague imaginings of shapes in the mist that could just as easily be gorillas as probably the rocks that they are and perhaps the occasional bottling seal perhaps come to check he’s ok without actually checking or simply popped up by chance, as mist’ified as our broken seal balanced on this wave-tickled rock….
… and then…
…… I notice…
……… wording I’d missed (mist?) before … “safety button pops up when…” … when?… tumbling, , stumbling, plummeting and spiralling, descending in a less than nimble way I’m dragged away from such prosaic reverie to find not a seal, or an actual seal, broken or otherwise, staring back but the lid of the jar of mango chutney on which I read the wrong way around… “safety button pops up when… seal is broken”…… and he slips from his rock vanishing into the mirror calm leaving not a single ripple or an echo or a second glance from blackwater eyes……

© 2018 robert greig

choughistry (30/May/18)

strap in, it’s a long (ish) one……

who knew!… so soon too, the end of May in sight, heaving around the headland like a lumbering Loch Ness monster clearly lost because this isn’t Loch Ness, it’s not even Scotland…… nevertheless, it’ll soon be Christmas……

… and another thing, I’ve known for a long  time cave sra enot just home to some bats but one or two birds too, namely Choughs… now there’s a bird, of the Crow family along with, well, Crows… it’s not rocket science is it, no, no, no, it’s ornithology…. apart from their brilliant name which I’ve commented on before in previous writings, if a steam train sneezed that the sound it’d make, chough!, followed coincidentally by the actual call of a Chough which you’ll understand I can’t replicate here due to the limitation of the medium, but if you’ve ever played the arcade game Space Invaders that’s as close as you get to its voice…… of all the Crow family their behaviour and lifestyle is most similar to Ravens having cliffs in common as preferred habitat, often sea cliffs which are perfect for their preferred chosen boudoirs… caves… and like ravens can be quite playful, believe me I’ve watched Ravens and they are cheeky and immensely playful and talented thin-air acrobats …… and of course Chough have bright orange-red beaks and legs which against the ultra-sleek black back-and sides sheen is startling… no, not Starlings, will talk about them another time…… and for all this their preferred food?… leatherjackets, basically, grubs for which they forage fields, heather moors and cliffscapes… yum-yum… or not… they will snaffle worms too.. more yum-yum!

… the time I truly fell for them was on a small Welsh island, again so it seems but there are a lot of small Welsh islands, where I’d discovered a cave behind a mountain at its foot where it dipped its toes into the crashing waves… a sea cave essentially… accessing it required a tricky corkscrew manoeuvre where one foot wrong, one grip ungripped would put me in the drink at the mercy of the unforgiving Strait though once inside it was worth the risk as I also had to almost bend over backwards to avoid a Chough nest, right there in the entrance to the cave, pinned safe and sound despite the heaving tides a few feet below it… it was haven personified to this bird, pretty much nothing could get at it… except me of course but I had no ill-intent so they seemed after a while tolerate my regular intrusions… to be that close to Choughs and their nest…… more was yet to come, as this cave was colloquially-named Seal Cave and indeed was where many-a seal would swim in underwater and haul out onto a rock inside ensconced in its almost impenetrable darkness for some peace and quiet away from the briny melee outside…. above where they reclined was a shelf, just wide enough for a person, in this case me, to crawl once inside and sit in absolute silence and absence of light but for a crack glinting its watery the entrance… once eyes adjusted as much as possible I watched, sat, watched, sat, barely breathing, mere feet above, they knew I was there and I knew they knew but both safely out of reach of each other, which suited us both…

… they let me stay presumably as long as I did no sudden moves, while at the entrance Choughs popped in and out carried on Space Invader calls to check on their nest…… how long I stayed each time was determined by the seals, often just one sometimes two or three, as once in there I couldn’t leave until they did as doing so would’ve been rude, and made them more skittish for next time… and there was a next time, and a next and a next………

© 2018 robert greig

at sea (8/May/18)

here I am again~~~~ at sea~~~~ having finished yet another book, reading it that is, and this time it’s serious, I don’t seem to have the next one lined up as I usually do, at least one, so am decidedly adrift like a raft of fire ants at the whims of an oceans currents… it could be a good thing but I need my anchor of a book on the go, a world into which I can retreat at any given moment and am likely to end the day immersed within and perhaps even begin a day the same ensconced in a bubble of page-turning plots and twists…… don’t get me wrong, I have ideas, I always have a head full of must-reads, often not the obvious ones as some of those I’ve already read and others, well, I only read what I want to read, will enjoy, and not what others think I should or are generally thought of a essential to one’s literary credibility…… so after breakfast my first task of the day is to scour the bookshelves, at home and if no joy, if nothing floats my fire ant raft then the bookshop, luckily there are still some around despite certain agenda-mongers making us think that physical print is “so last century” and “who goes to bookshops anymore when I can get everything (everything?) I need from an exploitative, monopolising, overbearing, cynical online shop named after some big river or other somewhere in a forest somewhere”… cautionary note, even rivers come to an end eventually, probably in the very same sea I’m anxiously drifting like a raft of fire ants and as swimming upstream would be ludicrously wasteful then I’ll be going to the bookshop, though I worry a raft of fire ants suddenly turning up in a bookshop may cause more of a stir than would be intended…… I think my metaphors are beginning to become a tad metaphysical, where was I?…… see, without a book, a huge mug of coffee and a big squishy armchair I’m…. at sea…… I’m hoping for inspiration as to my next adventure though at the same time quite stubborn with a tendency to ignore any recommendations over discovering my own new worlds…. I imagine fire ants are quite stubborn too…… regardless, it will be a book-proper, hardback or paperback, not fussy, as I read with my hands as well as my eyes…. … … …  I wonder, what do fire ants read………….

© 2018 robert greig