Millions of people around the world bid farewell to Queen Elizabeth II watching the historic funeral in the comfort of their homes. Some shed a tear, others shared poignant stories of her life, but all who watched witnessed the passing of a monarch who reigned far longer than any could have imagined when she was crowned at just 26 years old. ‘Thank you for your service,’ many proclaimed as her coffin passed them by after they stood on the streets for hours overnight waiting for a mere glimpse of her funeral procession. Being able to watch all this as it happened live in central London from the comfort of my warm bed, I was amazed at the outpouring of love and respect for the queen by her subjects young and old. At nearly a hundred years old she was still mourned, what a lovely sentiment. May we all live to such a privileged age and be missed when we finally pass. RIP dear Lizzy, and may your progeny learn from your grace.
The sound of ocean waves calls to the human soul in a primal language translated by the heart. Every time I visit the seaside I remember what it is to be alive, to exist on this small, aching world. So pleased to have taken part in the Alderney Literary Festival and to have had the chance to recharge my head, my heart, my soul on this beautiful island. Nature reminds us life is beautiful.
There is no greater beauty in England than its many coasts and seaside towns. Visiting during the off-peak season is a special treat as the vibe is relaxed and there are no lines in sight. Photos turn out better, too, with fewer people around to ruin the shot. In February, I visited Lyme Regis on England’s southern coast and lucked out with sunny skies and mild winds. Famous for fossil hunting along the Jurassic Coast, as well as the film about a French Lieutenant, the village was just what I had imagined. A quaint fishing village with beautiful old buildings, some centuries old, crammed along the coast for the best view and sailing vessels of all sorts lined up beside the sea waiting for summer to arrive. Each morning at 7am I awoke and strolled along the shore in the crisp dawn light to swipe my credit card in the parking metre so that they wouldn’t tow my rental car. It was a chore to be sure, but an enjoyable one as the views on that short walk to and fro were a magical start to my day. If only London had the equivalent for a morning stroll along the shore–the Thames doesn’t come close. There’s something about the sound of the waves breaking on the rocky shore, the maniacal clattering the rocks make as the water is sucked back out to sea, and the sunlight glinting off the horizon that can’t be replicated anywhere. A trip to remember for sure.
(In this photograph, the Golden Cap rises out of the sea along the horizon. It’s a bit of a hike uphill through muddy fields strewn with cow bombs to get to the top, but definitely worth it.)
The animated skies above Lake Windermere doubtless inspired lesser poets than Wordsworth, their prose just as romantic and picturesque. I imagine a young poet gazing up at billious clouds burdened with snowflakes and the words spring forth in his mind, a ready poem to share with the world. But like so many youth inspired by greatness, he questions the worth of the words he scrawls and their originality, too. Has he made something worthwhile, something to remember? He recites his favorite line aloud as a cold shadow passes over him,
“Hung o’er a cloud, above the steep that rears, its edge all aflame, the broadening sun appears; a long blue bar it’s aegis orb divides, and breaks the spreading of its golden tides; and now it touches on the purple steep, that flings his shadow on the pictured deep.”
and he lets his own lines float away on the gentle waves lapping against the shore.