I love pottering about, checking out beaches with rock pools, paddling and occasionally swimming in the sea, looking at the changing weather patterns and walking through glens and glades – basically I love being outside in nature, bathing in the experience.
I feel that I am grounded as I walk and I can let my mind wander about what I want to do with my art events, reviewing it in my mind and reliving the rollercoaster of emotions of the event.
This May I went up to the Outer Hebrides and down to Caswell Beach in the Mumbles at Gower and what I was struck by was the different way people use the beaches – the Gower is all about tourism, day trippers and the immediate gratification in running onto the beach and straight into the water; leaving towels, campfire BBQ’s, strewn clothes with an exuberance that is joyful to watch. The beach was an extended school room with classes of children in groups learning about seascapes, elderly swimming groups with a collection of swimming hats to be envied, the odd horse and riders, surfer and paddle boarder schools in red and black uniforms, teenagers cliff jumping and geriatric paddlers. So many uses on the shared space, bubbling with life and noise from sunrise to way after sunset.
By comparison the beaches on the Hebrides went on for miles of golden sands, few rock pools and even fewer visitors. It felt they belonged to the locals, walking their dogs in solitude and with purpose. The long days of sunshine gave time to be in the space, almost loosing time of meals and sleeping.
It could be to do with the weather, Caswell was a clear 28 degrees whilst Harris crept up to 16 degrees at the hottest. I found experiencing to two weather condition so quickly brought the weather and the way we live with beaches into such sharp contrast, but for me Harris left me energised, thoughtful and ready to move onto my next adventure….