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Friday, 3 April 2015

SANDWOOD BAY


It seems a lifetime ago that we camped at remote Sandwood Bay.
Thick drizzle was falling when we arrived,
seriously swelling that portion of the sea just south of Cape Wrath.
Although it was mid-June, we wore heavy rainproof coats and hats.
We were freezing cold and were beginning to wish we hadn't ventured
this far north, to such a barren wilderness.
Our biggest mistake had been to imagine this place crowded
and bathed in bright sunshine like on the postcards,
and to picture ourselves spending idyllic days
swimming in the North Sea and sunbathing on warm sand.




And oh what luxurious accommodation! Ruined Sandwood Cottage,
with it's cold stone walls and ill-fitting windows
that let in continual icy draughts that howled and wailed
like a pack of half-starved banshees on the rampage.
Sleeping, I wrote in my red leather-bound diary, is a total impossibility!
But it wasn't only the wind. There was that other thing too.
What we'd encountered earlier had made us doubt
our sanity. We were seriously scared.
So we huddled together in a corner in our sleeping bags,
gulping the brandy we'd pilfered from our respective parents' cocktail cabinets
and praying for the swift arrival of daybreak.

The rain couldn't quite penetrate to the ground floor
were we were, but the damp clammy air certainly did.
It settled in our lungs, making us cough like life-long smokers.
Ha...I remember how you played it up, rolling around
on the time-worn earthen floor and pretending to suffocate,
and how you accidentally kicked the gaz fire over in the process-
only just averting a major catastrophe!
Oh how I laughed, but I knew how nervous you really were.
Being a few years older than me, you always seemed to feel
you had to take control of the situation - to be the strong one.
But I knew that what we'd experienced earlier had seriously unnerved even you.

So what really happened to we teenage friends that summer,
on that first holiday without our parents
that we'd pleaded so hard to get?
We'd packed everything we considered we would need
and rented a beaten-up old red mini. You drove,
I read aloud, feet up on the dashboard, from Tess of the D'Urbervilles.
It took us twenty-four hours, with breaks, to get there.
Then the road just ended and we had to continue on foot for the last few miles,
carrying only the few essentials we could manage.
When we finally arrived, footsore and weary,
the Bay was eerily deserted. Like a graveyard.
The only sounds were the surf crashing onto the shore and the cries of gulls.
We began collecting driftwood, intending to light a fire.
Then we noticed the mast of an old wreck protruding from the deep sand.
We were intrigued. We walked over to it and began to explore.

I can still picture us there now in my mind's eye:
terror stricken - when a mariner in old fashioned uniform
shouted at us, telling us that the wood was his and to leave it alone.
What time-slip had we fallen through? We dropped the wood
and bolted for the relative safety of the cottage. And to this day,
neither of us has ever dared mention to anyone the fact
that the old captain had left no footprints in the soft sand...





46 comments:

  1. Hi Ygraine...wow fantastic writing..I was experiencing it all along with you on this adventure..powerful and captivating..and many strong images conjured in my mind. I always feel pulled into your words/writing..and I love the way that feels..very inspiring!
    Wishing you a magical wkd and Many Blessings
    HUgs my soul sister!
    Victoria

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    1. Oh thank you so much, my dear friend...I am so happy you liked this.
      I keep promising to return there someday, but it is so far to travel and is so difficult to access. Still, hopefully, one day...:)

      Have a wonderful week, my dear Soul Sister!

      Love & Hugs xoxoxo

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  2. Marvelous story, Ygraine, my dear friend, thank you for taking me there.

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    1. Thank you for joining me, dear friend...great to have your company!:)

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  3. Fantastic story, my dear Ygraine and gorgeous photos...as always!!! You are amazing dear friend...simply amazing :))

    Hugs & Love
    xoxoxo

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    1. Oh wow...thank you, dear Jan...so much!
      Your kind words mean so much.:)

      Love & Hugs xoxoxo

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  4. Dear Ygraine ,
    I so got lost in this story (nobody has your gift of telling stories like you!)

    I picture you in the little red mini (back in '74 hubby and I and 3 others were packed into a little red mini traveling through a twisty road in Denmark in the very dark night ...the driver was going much too fast and I thought we were going to die ...LOL your mention of the mini brought this memory back to me, oh, those good ole days! we were on holiday visiting friends there for 2 months.)

    Loved this story , such wonderful imagery and that ending ...wow!
    The old captain was a ghost!!!!!!

    Have a wonderful Easter weekend, dear friend

    Sending Love & Hugs
    xo xo

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    1. Oh, I just remembered, he was not my hubby in '74 , we got married in '75 ... had to give you the right facts ... LOL )

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    2. Ha...yes...what is it about minis and our youth? lol
      Oh Margie, you'd love Sandwood Bay. It is one of the most haunted places I've ever visited.
      In truth, I was there with my husband and 11 month old son in 1993...and the latter just cried and cried all the time we were there...then just stopped and returned to his usual smiley self as soon as we left the Bay. It was as if he sensed something we couldn't see. We could certainly feel it though...that powerful feeling of being continually watched...and every picture we took on the beach had shadowy figures.
      It is indeed a strange place!

      Haha...I can see how much in love you two are...it matters not one jot whether you were married or not...just that you were together!:)

      Love and Hugs, dear friend!
      xoxoxo

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  5. Wow....I could totally feel this story of your youth a life time ago!

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    1. Oh wow...thank you so much!
      I so appreciate that.:)

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  6. This is an amazing story Ygraine:)
    You really are an amazing writer!!
    xo

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    1. Oh wow...thank you, Gloria!
      I am so happy you liked this.:)
      xoxoxo

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  7. A wonderful story, Ygraine, and I love the photos as well! Happy Easter to you. :)

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  8. A wonderful story, Ygraine, and I love the photos as well! Happy Easter to you. :)

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    1. Oh thank you so much, Linda!
      I hope you had a wonderful Easter too.:)
      xoxoxo

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  9. Hello Ygraine,
    What a great place with a fantastic view. So amazing!!
    Wonderful pictures.

    Many greetings and a happy easter.
    Marco

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    1. Many thanks, Marco.
      Yes, it is an amazing place to visit...although unfortunately not very easily accessible! Still, it is well worth the effort.

      Hope you had a great Easter! :)

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  10. Who else but you could add terror to an intriguing, wonderful holidats full of hope and fear, and the ocean hitting the shore in stormy weather oh my girl, what to say I love this so much, wonderful, wonderful writer, Happy Easter and many,many, more glorious stories, from you my dear Ygraine, xoxoxo photo perfect for story, what can i say, but HOLY WOW

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    1. Oh wow, Sweetie...you are TOO kind. Truly!
      And I so, so, appreciate that kindness.
      It was a really strange place to visit, probably partly due to it's remote and isolated location. But the old sea captain is well documented in many books on the supernatural...and I can personally vouch for the fact that there is a peculiar atmosphere there.
      Oh I wish you could see it for yourself someday.

      Have a wonderful week, Sweetie!:)

      xoxoxo

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  11. You continue to amaze.. This is wonderful. What a wonderful adventure to have had… I envy every discomfort mentioned, and the ghostly mystery that couldn’t help but last a life time.

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    1. It is one of those rare places that you feel compelled to write a story about. There are so many tales about the hauntings...and I know that what I personally experienced definitely wasn't just imagination playing tricks (I have quite a few photos that shadowy figures appeared on, although I saw nothing as I took them).
      I just HAD to weave a story around my trip!;)
      I am so happy you enjoyed it, Anthony...and if ever you find yourself in the extreme north-west of Scotland, please do try to visit the Bay...it really is amazing!

      Many thanks.:)

      Have a great week.:))

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  12. Gli auguri più sinceri per una Santa Pasqua lieta e serena!
    Un abbraccio...ciao.

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    1. Oh thank you so much, Giancarlo!
      I hope you had a fabulous Easter too.:)

      A Hug back! :))

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  13. Bom dia, desejo-lhe uma santa Pascoa junto com a sua família.
    AG

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    1. Many thanks, AG.
      I hope your Easter was a great one too...:)

      A Hug.:))

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  14. The voice
    battered the wind.
    This form that cursed our presence,
    its ghoulish shadow pierced the dark.
    Traceless

    __Discomfort and frightfulness... two of the stronger tools among the many... that build character. Grand Ygraine_!
    _m

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    1. Oh how you put my humble attempts at writing to shame...you express so much in so few words...oh wow...what an amazing talent!
      Thank you so much...:)

      Have a fabulous week!!

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    2. BUT
      __There is (nor was there) any shame intended, this a compliment to your fine words.
      __The truth is, this Chinquain echo, could not have occurred had I not read great word-thoughts_! _m

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    3. My heart-felt thanks for your kind and encouraging words. They are truly appreciated...:)

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  15. Boa tarde, é um lindo lugar para visitar a acompanhar as belas historia guardadas com a que escreveu.
    AG

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    1. Oh thank you AG...so very much! :)

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  16. I was all along with you listening to the story of your adventure to Sandwood Bay. Humm.. I was just reading but felt your troubles and bitter sweet memories.
    Those two photos are inviting. Looks like in those beautiful landscape of my country. Oppsss..Ygraine..you made me to miss my home.

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    1. Yes...those photos you've posted in the past of your home land were truly breath-taking. I can see why you'd miss it when you are away.
      Oh I'd so love to visit someday!
      Thank you so much.:)

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  17. well i had some great visuals reading this - you are so talented and conveying an event or experience and making it so intriguing to read.

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    1. Oh wow...thank you, Sandy...you are so kind.
      Can't tell you how happy I am that you liked this! :)

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  18. Estupendas imágenes... Un beso desde Murcia....

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    1. Many thanks, Alp...and a kiss back! :)

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  19. Un bonito relato, en un lugar paradisíaco.
    Saludos.

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    1. Thank you, Manuel...that is much appreciated.

      Have a great weekend.:)

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  20. Great photos and intense writing, thanks for sharing!

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    1. And thank you so much for reading!
      So happy you liked it.:)

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  21. I love the way you write and how you tell your stories! You are brilliant my friend!
    I am sorry I haven't been around in blog land! Trying to get back involved! Big Hugs ;o)

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    1. Oh Stacy...you have been so missed...please hurry back!
      And thank you so much.:)

      Have a great weekend.

      Big Hugs xoxoxo

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  22. What a fabulous story your weave! You had my attention from the title to the very end, an intriguing write Ygraine :)

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    1. So very happy you liked it, Rose.
      Thank you so much...:)
      xoxoxo

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I really appreciate hearing your opinions...:)