The walk.


The swans woolly bugle funnels up the river to the idle North Sea ships waiting out the lull. Orange curtains twitch, brick chimneys lean into a wind that blatters the outhouse doors. Unhinging. Passing by a conversation, ‘You never tell me anything’, she says. ‘Ask me anything, I don’t have secrets’, he says, holding out his arms. Mudlarking. Under the bridge a cuttlefish bone gleams amongst bladderwrack while in fields above the town the red ploughed earth skewls toward a warming spring sun.

Field sketch


On this mornings walk I heard skylarks, reminding me of the island of Sanday, and walking at the north end, at Tofts Ness, a place of neolithic dwellings, cattle, sheep, grass of parnassus and eyebright. Lying in the dunes, the fulmars would glide past, inches away, fixing you with a curious eye. And the skylarks would rise up from the fields singing until they disappeared from view. It is the edge of the world there.