May on May.



Blue. Warm, so early in the morning. I go to collect my ticket from the office where there is no record of my name. ‘Are you the artist ?’ There I am. Cameras, backpacks, the scritch scratch of waterproof jackets. Sensible shoes but for one woman in a camel coat, heels, and red lipstick. Italian voices, German, American. Beyond the harbour wall the engines fall silent as a pod of dolphins pass by only a few feet from the boat, falling rising, arcing, their skin sparkles in the sun. Inside I chat to crew member Mark who is also a fire fighter in Methil. He likes working on the boat and fondly remembers a passenger throwing up all over him. The perks of the job. The island is giddy with sound. Overhead arctic terns pierce the air, puffins whirr and the gulls squabble and yell. I sit on a rock at the highest point and draw. Out at sea flotillas of guillemots, and beyond the Bass Rock shimmers in a violet haze. The birds clamour softens to a lilting murmur as their voices mingle and the day becomes drowsy.

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