Wednesday 2 July 2014

Island Life

One of the best things about living on (almost) an island, is being surrounded by the sea - the other is the number of bays and beaches. Although we are connected to the mainland now by a road and rail link, this didn't happen until just over a hundred years ago. And we still have the bays and beaches.

They get into my writing. Especially at the moment, when the sun is shining and I'm brewing a new novella set on an imaginary stretch of coast that - surprisingly - bears a strong resemblance to where I live, but re-organised to suit me.

It's not all sunshine though, the beaches are just as good in the winter, provided you can stand upright in the wind. Sometimes they are better, as you get them to yourself, if no one else is mad enough to venture out.

I was trying to think of a way to describe what we are, now we have the mainland links - and came up with lots of lovely words. Hey, I'm a writer, I love words. I was wondering about isthmus (try saying that after a few beers)
but apparently that is a strip of land with sea on either side, linking two bigger pieces of land, so that is probably what the causeway to the mainland is. Then there's peninsula, which is a long narrow piece of land, projecting into a sea or lake. (You can tell I took the Oxford dictionary to bed with me last night) We might be a peninsula, but we're not long and narrow. Then there's promontory, which is probably my favourite, because of it's Shakespearean connections. The quote I have floating about in my brain soup has something to do with a mermaid. I would have said it was The Tempest, but apparently it's Midsummer Night's Dream. Both plays are favourites - Tempest, because it's set on an
island, of course, and Dream because it's set at my favourite time, Midsummer - although the weather described in the play is not actually very pleasant. I suspect they were having a lot of rain when it was written. Dream also has Oberon - an  archetypal alpha male and one of my first on-stage crushes. And of course they both have magic in them, which just about makes them irresistible.

But this is a long way from a promontory, which is apparently a high cliff jutting out into a sea or lake.  Now I always imagined it as a long finger of land - more like a peninsula, actually. It just shows you what you can learn from the dictionary.  (and I have to say, from the Internet, where you get pictures.)

We probably have all three of those things on the Island.  I've attached pictures, so you can have a look.

That's another thing about being on an island - there's always something to photograph ...


  1. Aren't we lucky to live in this beautiful part of the world!