Saturday Saunter: Lighthouses and other stray thoughts

Good Saturday to you,

I am starting this fairly late in the week for me, on Wednesday scribbling into my notebook. It is actually sunny right now though earlier there was sleet and all sorts. A calm day would be excellent. This appears on Saturday when up until now I have nothing planned. Hibs played Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Friday night (💚) so no football. I am away on Sunday so a duvet day might be a wise move.

There are times when I write this post when I have all sorts of ideas, other times not so many. This is one of the barren times but I’m sure I’ll get there. Since the news is its usual cheeriness, there’s plenty of scope but too much gets me enraged and that’s not what I need. Nor particularly good to read. As part of good self-care, the other day I went on a radical cleanse of my Twitter feed, taking out whatever would cause me rage or tension. It’s basically now Hibs, books, history and the odd transport company. The news is quite enough right now.

I recently read a good book called Seashaken Houses by Tom Nancollas, which featured the stories of various rock lighthouses, including the mighty Bell Rock. I’m going to see Tom Nancollas talk at Aye Write in March which should be excellent, as should the dinner I’ll be having at one of the excellent curry houses in the area afterwards. What should be interesting is his tales of camping in a disused lighthouse in February and his trip out to Fastnet as part of a maintenance crew. The Mitchell Library is nowhere near the sea so might be a strange place to go hear a talk about lighthouses but for a seaside person who now lives in the city, I’m sure I can use my imagination.

Barns Ness lighthouse: a white lighthouse tower against a blue sky with three windows up its left side, buildings below.

What is very real is a lighthouse being demolished. Robert Macfarlane Tweeted the other day about the Orford Ness lighthouse in Suffolk which will soon be demolished because of very drastic coastal erosion. A lighthouse always seems such a constant, permanent thing that one being demolished is a bit of a shock. I grew up near the Barns Ness lighthouse, which was decommissioned in 2005, and it still stands high on the landscape despite essentially being obsolete. I wonder what will happen with the remains of Orford Ness.

Yesterday’s travelling book was Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall, an excellent book about geopolitics that could maybe do with an update due to the UK’s exit from the European Union. (We don’t use the ‘B’ word here. Nor ampersands.) A lot of conflicts happen or are even avoided because of geography. I got into the China chapter the other day. One of those books that brings new thoughts and dimensions to them too.

Anyway, that’s the Saturday Saunter for this leap day, Saturday 29th February 2020. Thanks for reading. A London post may well appear tomorrow. The March digest will appear on Wednesday. Until then, have an excellent weekend. Peace.

4 thoughts on “Saturday Saunter: Lighthouses and other stray thoughts

  1. Alli Templeton

    Love the lighthouse stuff, Kev. My daughter, being an avid sailor and a budding maritime historian would be interested in the lighthouse stories – we have to use our imaginations too, living at the furthest point from the sea in England! She loved the lighthouse at the Point of Ayr in Wales that we stopped at during my castle quest last year. Another disused one, but camping inside it would have been fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Digest: February 2020 – Walking Talking

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