There is nothing I enjoy or find more relaxing than a stroll on the shore, or if the weather is poor to sit and listen to the rain as it competes with the noise of the crashing waves. I grew up inland and it is in the last 30 years I realised how much life would have been better by the sea. I am making up for lost time. Every visit is different, buoys appear from nowhere, sea anemones left behind in rock pools and sea glass peeking out between shells and stones.
I enjoy crochet and have completed many crochet alongs (cal) but Eleanora Tully’s beachcomber was amazing and reminded me of all the things I enjoy about the sea. It has pride of place in “Monty” my travelling beach house and as much as I love him, ideally I would prefer a little static home by the sea. Talking of Eleonora, she recommended a book by Rosamunde Pilcher called “The Shellseekers”. I managed to get it on the US audibles so I could listen rather than read as I prefer to multi task. I have read short stories of her’s before but I could hardly bare to turn this one off. I found it whisked me away to Cornwall, somewhere I have never been but read about so much. Now that is where I would like my little home by the sea but one can always dream. Whilst dreaming it can feel like the real thing and the book is so well written it brings me straight there so that I can forget I am in a Northern Irish town with the Irish Sea on one side and Strangford Lough on the other.
The book brings you back to war time, another era I enjoy reading about as people made the most of difficult times. It is about art, love, beauty and every day life and from the beginning to the end “The Shellseekers” painting exists and ties the family together in more ways than one. Penelope, the main character also means a lot to me having the same name as my sister who was two years younger than myself. I have a memory of her being, her existence but since she died within a few weeks of birth she also feels like a non identity.
Poem by a far out relative of mine, George William Russell, first published 1897.
The Voice of the Sea
THE SEA was hoary, hoary,
Beating on rock and cave:
The winds were white and weeping
With foam dust of the wave.They thundered louder, louder,
With storm-lips curled in scorn—
And dost thou tremble before us,
O fallen star of morn?