swimming to the island from the island

Yesterday we went to the Isle of May where dwell the puffins and enough lighthouses to satisfy even my eagerness for those beacons of safety, those harbingers of harbour. Here are some photos:

View from the bus on the way there. These yellow fields are everywhere, filling the heart with the joy that only a field of yellow can give.

The May Princess, our unweildy ferry. You'd think a ride in this thing would be enough to turn the stomach - but the worse for my insides was the work of award-winning fish and chips consumed on the rocky Stagecoach back to the city. Twenty-four hours later, I still have the bucket by my bed just in case.

The Isle of May - one of the only semi-level photos I have of it from the view of the ferry.

This photo was taken by flatmate Lindsay, who has offered her camera countless times to the service of my pictoral memory. I believe what you see in the distance is the south-end lighthouse perched atop the forbidden segment of island upon which the seabirds are unfamiliar with the likes of us tourists.

Another photo by the skill of flatmate-Lindsay, this puffin was either uncommonly goodnatured, unnaturally vain, or paralyzed with untimely fear to allow the camera to come so close. Indeed, she took another photo even closer, at a distance of about six feet, but I rather prefered the turn of his head in this one to the feathery details of greater proximity.

The main lighthouse, though not the oldest. It reminded me of many things, not the least among them were some tales of L. M. Montgomery's and some eastern meeting houses of colonial fathers in white wigs and buckled shoes.

The sign on the wall seemed to imply that this arch was a bread oven in past ages - a humorous identification, since moments before reading this I had been awestruck by the notion that it was an early monastic apse. The surrounding ruins were from a 12-century monastery, but my imaginative sense of holy devotion was getting a bit carried away. Thanks be to God who faithfully humbles those who feel themselves most proud in their ill-directed piety.

Having no idea what this archy thing was, Courtney and I did our usual photographic duty and took turns posing beneath it. We had seen others doing the same thing only moments before, and figured that was the point of its presence. Far be it from me to rebel against the elements of touristy sites.

And we all return to the harbour, sick to the stomach, chilled to the bones, and full of the satisfaction of islands, puffins, and the salty sea air. Oh, if I woke up to the sight of a marina each morning, I think I would usher in the dawn with endless song - boats and fish and gruffly fishermen, how I miss you when I'm gone!


  1. Can you do me a huge favor, please, and email me these pictures? They are absolutely charming!
    I LOVE the Puffin! I think I want to be one in my next life.
    And if you hanging on that archy thing isnt the Cutest Thing Ever then I dont know what is. It makes me miss you tremendously. Can I come hang with you, please?

  2. all these posts! I can't keep up!


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