Freedom

I’m miles, kilometres, furlongs away from home! It’s a remote spot, a  full hour’s drive away from a home now too familiar.   At least it would be remote at most other times, but this is no ordinary week-end. For one thing it’s sunny and warm, but it’s also the first week-end we are officially allowed to travel more than 5 miles from home. I brace myself for crowds.

I’m in a little enclave of civil life in a military area, and just opposite where I have parked the van is a watch tower. It’s where the starlings watch us. They need to – it’s by no means deserted today.

It’s Ginst Point, near Laugharne, a huge area of sand and  saltmarsh, normally open only at week-ends. The last time I was here was a few years ago in November, when, at sunset and dawn, my only company was the seabirds and the plastic litter brought in by the Autumn storms. There were birds though – the usual winter waders gulls, herons and ducks with a distant group of rarer Scaup ducks.

Today the tide line is deserted and clean and the eye can roam un-interrupted over the wide land and seascapes. Inland are linnets, stonechats, gulls, and the  starlings. It’s the first time I have seen a large group of juvenile starlings and I’m delighted by them. They rush around like children in the playground, all wanting to be where all the cool kids are.

I walkout  through the salt-marsh, every footprint crushing a carpet of shells. There is even a stream of shells. On the beach are thousands of big clam shells. It’s a place which makes me wish I had studied botany more diligently, let alone molluscs like this beauty, its colour a subtle echo of the sea holly.

The tide is out and the sand is endless. Parked near the waterline is a group of pickup trucks with trailers. My guess is that this is a boat club or fishing club. As I walk further out I see that there are a dozen or more boats pulled up on the opposite shore and people milling around.

At  9pm  it is still warm, and the trucks are still out there.

Eleven pm. I can’t sleep. There are several big trucks moving about, one with its engine running constantly. I decide to move to a quieter spot, but behind me there are lights and movement, and vehicles moving around.  I did sleep eventually, and in the morning I am was up at 5 to catch the sunrise. All the trucks have all gone and only the starlings are moving about.

On the road through the ranges there is this semi-derelict farm. It feels sad.

It is Sunday, the forecast fine again, but with rain moving in on Monday so I decide to change my plans and go to Martins Haven, the jumping off point for Skomer Island, closed for this year. I can be there by 10 and have one more day of sun and a very different coast. 

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4 Responses to Freedom

  1. Peter Twyman says:

    Ah yes. Brings back memories of doing a Botany sixth form field studies course in Pembrokeshire and going to the firing ranges there. We were told that there’s nothing quite so good as a firing range for wild life because it keeps out visitors. I certainly take your point about Botany. I have always greatly preferred looking at plants rather than animals and birds. Plants don’t, in the main, run away or attack you, and their waste products disperse in a much more pleasant way. I have very fond memories of doing a transect of a hydroseer in Pembroke, up to my waist in water at some points. And the fascination of analysing the distibution of daisies. (They don’t just grow in clumps but in clumps of clumps if you want to know.) Second on my list is insects, but fauna in general comes in a very poor third.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hiya Dick – we’re in our caravan in New Hedges you must’ve passed pretty close to us if you’re now in Laugharne!!

  3. Peter Twyman says:

    That excellent writer
    Mr. A.N. Onymous
    Made thousands of comments
    But none were eponymous.

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