Monday, 12 December 2011

The Script of Stones

Even though it's nearly mid December and there’s a cold wind blowing from the north, it’s sheltered in my secret place overlooking Hunts Bay. I sit, high up, back to the cliffs overlooking the Bay, the raging sea below dotted with pools of light shooting through ever changing clouds. Only the locals know this little shelf and I’ve never been disturbed here. It’s the place where the poet Vernon Watkins would sit and write with his friend and colleague Dylan Thomas. Vernon lived in a house on the cliff; his son still lives there.

There’s a small stone plaque set into the face of the cliff bearing a couple of Vernon’s most famous lines:

I have been taught the script of stones

and I know the tongue of the waves

These magical words define the mood of this beautiful place and give the Bay a very special feel.

The view from here is spectacular. Lundy Island drifts in and out of view behind distant clouds. Limestone outcrops protrude from thick gorse, some still yellow, but a great headland dominates the shore, where Oystercatchers and Grey Herons search for crabs in the mat of seaweed and myriads of rock pools. At this time of year wildlife is scarce, but a pair of glorious Stonechats and a Robin more than make up for the winter browns of the dying bracken.

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