Over the frozen sea

Crossing the brilliant sea of white clouds reflecting the sun, the clouds parted after some hours and out of the steady, solid blue of the Atlantic came this: sea ice.

IMG_9389 IMG_9390

IMG_9393(Click photos to enlarge.)

Can you determine what is land, what is sea, and what it ice? Look closely enough and you can even see the cracks in the ice floes…

  IMG_9399  IMG_9398  IMG_9394

These last three are in reverse order than when I took them in order to demonstrate how we flew along the delta of a frozen river, somewhere in New Brunswick, I think.

What beauty, what stark contrasts, what chill runs through my bones when I consider such thing as a frozen sea. I knew it existed of course, but had never seen it with my own eyes. I wonder what it would be like to walk along the ice, to live in such a forbidding place such as this. I was reminded of the folk song Frobisher Bay, here sung by the St Andrews Madrigal Group:

Cold is the arctic sea
Far are your arms from me
Long will this winter be
Frozen in Frobisher Bay
Frozen in Frobisher Bay

“One more whale,” our captain cried
“One more whale and we’ll beat the ice.”
But the winter star was in the sky
The seas were rough the winds were high.

Deep were the crashing waves
That tore our whaler’s mast away
Dark are these sunless days
Waiting for the ice to break.

Strange is a whaler’s fate
To be saved from the raging waves
Only to waste away
Frozen in this lonely grave.

Sunset, sea

Yesterday afternoon, the clouds paused. It has been raining for days and days as gales have hit the UK. For days I’ve listened to the wind howl in the chimney, buffeting the house and lashing rain at the windows. Apart from sleeping, the weather itself has kept me indoors.

But it stopped raining. I hopped on my bike and cycled to West Sands in time to watch the sun set on the last day of the year.





I can feel so cooped up in this house, in this ugly, residential area of town, where it’s just houses and houses and houses. It can be frustrating, sometimes, that I have to first get out of this part of town to go anywhere. But the sea, the sea. The roar of the waves, the reflection of light and shadow on the sand; the sea reminds me why I do love this town, most of the time.

Last year was so good, until the end. The beginning of 2014 sees me emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically worn out, exhausted, and weary — not exactly a fortuitous start. If I’m lucky, maybe 2014 will be the mirror of 2013: a poor start, with a good finish. Yes, let’s hope for that.

If I were one for New Year’s Resolutions, I’d first say that I want to stop crying every day (crying is exhausting and it give me headaches), but I already manage that as best as I can. Instead, perhaps I should make more of an effort to get out to the sea.

Favourite things

Strange landscapes:

IMG_8570I love how the beaches here in Scotland are a mix of expanses of smooth sand and  rocks and pools, as the bones of the earth are laid bare by the retreating sea.


Favourite things

The sea:


The sea is always there, and yet is different every time I visit it. Living by the sea is definitely one of my favourite things about living here.