Foot Luce and Fancy Free

It’s already 13:00 and the sun has barely risen in the sky. The roads still hold the blue tinge of dawn and there’s just a smattering of ice afoot. I cycle gingerly (skidded and fell of my bike yesterday didn’t I) but I’m soon distracted by young deer and the calls of Scotland’s own pseudo-penguin – the oystercatcher, it’s call synonymous with the seaside.

We descend into the tiny hamlet of Stairhaven and are watched by a keen-eyed and unperturbed hobby.

The fishing village of Port William is our outbound destination. Tatie catches some rays while we drink coffee at the Andrew Brown statue of a man taking a moment to survey the beauty around him. Tatie thinks he’d be quite a catch, if a little older than she and I.

Having spent a little longer than strictly necessary eating chips and mushy peas in the sea-facing conservatory of the Cock Inn in Auchenmalg, we race the sinking sun back through Stairhaven and past a herd of black-and-white cattle who wander and feed in the fading light with views of the Mull of Galloway and the Isle of Man. If I were a non-human animal, I’d love to be a coastal-grazing cow.

Gulls squabble in the shallows of the bay at St. Helena’s Island as the sun sinks below the horizon. In spite of the plunging temperatures, we can’t help but stop awhile to take in the exquisite and natural beauty of our surroundings. I guess this is what Andrew Brown was getting at…


24 December, 2020

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