Glimpse of shy bather

The walk along the coastal path from St Ives to River Cove is three and half miles long and the area is described as ‘a very remote part of the west Cornwall coast’ suggesting an area of natural beauty. The path is assigned a level three difficulty. The craggy cliffs mean ensuring correct placement of boot on rock and keeping the eyes engaged on feet whilst walking up and down the steep paths. Fortunately there is some let up from the highs and lows as the path widens out and plateaus now and again. The decreasing need for eye-foot attachment means we can gaze around us.

In one of those moments when the eye could wander we caught a glimpse of a shy bather on one of the rocks below. The being was unmoving; its face and back turned away from the path. Deceased perhaps? We scrambled down the rocks to get a better view. Alas, we had disturbed the shy bather. The head lifted and a doleful face stared at us for an instant (just in time for the photo) unhappy at being revealed as something other than a rock. Camouflage having failed the shy bather flipped up its tail and disappeared into the sea. The highlight of our walk – a rare and close up glimpse of a seal sunbathing.

Seal bather on St Ives coastal walk © Sanandi-jacq

Furry beings on Portland Isle

Don’t say the word … they’re here! © Sanandi-jacq

Over the weekend we were out walking on the isle of Portland in Dorset. We kept coming across long-eared furry beings set on stone with cryptic messages such as ‘WE ARE HERE’. Non-plussed we walked on with the intention of discovering the answer to the mystery.

It turns out that on the isle a limestone called Portland stone is quarried. This stone hails from the Jurassic period and is used in such public buildings as St Pauls Cathedral and Buckingham Palace in the UK and the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Apparently, in the past when the stone was being quarried there was danger from rockfalls and stone avalanches. The quarrymen would notice that furry long haired beings would emerge from their underground dwellings just at the point that a rockfall or avalanche of stones was about to occur. Over time a superstition emerged on Portland that you should never mention the six-letter word beginning with ‘r’ because it brings bad luck. Hence images of furry beings with cryptic messages are to be found along the coastal path particularly at points where rockfalls are more likely.

The rest of the day we spent imagining alternate names. Hare’s cousin. Long-eared furry beings. Coneys. Bunnies. And we don’t wish you were here!

Walk on …

Thanks for joining me on this adventure into the whisperings of the mind …

This blog has finally got off the ground six years after my partner and fellow walker Alan died suddenly in 2013. In 2014 I set off on a long pilgrimage across Northern Spain to celebrate his life and to move on with my own. I undertook the journey with an old friend. We took two weeks off each year to complete the 500 mile pilgrimage called the Camino Francés to Santiago de Compostela. In 2017 we finally reached Santiago. Much has happened since.

I still haven’t published the novel that Alan kept urging me to do but I have started a blog instead to inspire me to write more often and to get back the motivation to get the novel written and out there. Thing is … I want to change everything now … .

Not only did I go on a long walk but I gave up my corporate job and went and lived and worked in an ashram for a while learning yet more about yoga and witnessing my ego self and its reactions to the world. It was both a sublime and disturbing experience as you can imagine. The ashram experience taught me a lot but particularly how to witness what is going on inside me and around me. When I left the ashram it was such a shock to be back in the so-called real world. The noise and the level of stress overwhelmed me and it took me about a year to readjust. I may still be readjusting now. Daily yoga practice witnessing the ego has certainly been my constant companion. Two golden birds in a tree – one busily pecking around (the ego) and the other witnessing (the higher self).

Walking on … practising yoga … and writing.

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