1st August

Woke about 7 and lay in bed listening to the crows in the trees around the campsite calling back and forth to each other. I think it’s one of my favorite sounds. I love it when you hear one in flight over a field it’s caw splitting the silence of a country morn.

went swimming in the sea again today and as it wasn’t as sunny there were even less people around than last time. In fact the only company I had as I swam were two pairs of crow hopping along the shore looking for food among the stones. It struck me that I was not only in the margin between the land and the sea but also between the natural and the man-made, industrialised one. However on the occasion the natural world was the land where the small stretch of beach soon gave way to woodland which stretched upwards crowned by blue sky and wispy white clouds.

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Turning out to sea there was a line of ships along the horizon heading out of the Solent and into the channel, past the sea fort and disappearing behind Bembridge lifeboat station which was the furthest point I could see. The crows had gone from the beach and we’re now being replaced by gulls who were swooping down over my head. At that point the sun broke through the clouds and a Neil Young song came into my head. I floated around to the lyrics of After the Goldrush….

I was hoping for replacement
When the sun burst thru the sky
There was a band playing in my head
And I felt like getting high.
I was thinking about what a Friend had said
I was hoping it was a lie.

After lunch we went to visit Sarah’s Uncle who she had only just discovered lived on the island. We sat in his garden and chatted for a couple of hours in the sunshine. There was a huge variety of birds flying around the garden and the field behind. The house is near the island’s only train line so every now and again we’d hear one go past. Sarah’s uncle has a great sense of humour (quite like her dad) so it was difficult to tear ourselves away.

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However we were supposed to be going to Blackmail Chine for the fireworks so we set off. We ended up driving to Ventnor and then all the way back to Shanklin looking for petrol but we did eventually get there!

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It was a bit of a flying visit but Ben managed to do most of his favorite things. The fireworks were good despite it not being quite dark yet and the carpark was carnage afterwards!

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