I can’t reach it, not now.
But Cousin Jack stands by a familiar Scottish mine and reminds me of leaden links stretching lay-line like, common threads.
I look out to the discovered drowned landscape:
Doggerland, under the North Sea
and dream of legendary Lyonnesse.
Wound-healing kidney vetch and generous-spirited heather grace my toes at either end of this sea-spray scented, interwoven landscape. ‘A Creative Journey’ … because I couldn’t make a real one!
It feels like I’ve been most places in Britain…I’ve moved a lot. Born in Aberdeen, I spent twenty years in Somerset on and off, however Brixham is the furthest south I’ve been.
I’d hoped for a postcode I’d never visited, romanticising about possible journeys…maybe a day-long adventure with my older daughter, or maybe we’d all go away, postcode bound, but finances dictated otherwise.
My eldest has accompanied me on reconnaissance missions for years, she’s used to me staring at vistas, murmuring, piecing together calcified fragments of memories, forming new jigsaws of words, gathering plant samples, but this time our travels led north.
So I started reading Cornish legends at bedtime, researching online images as I worked around north-east Scotland, discovering rare coastal plants and drowned landscapes the areas shared: one maybe mythical, one made manifest. Visiting lead mines near my mum’s home in Dumfriesshire, hearing about migrant miners who’d gained the nickname Cousin Jack, traveling when tin became scarce.
Then I was partnered in a mystery parcel swap with a girl near Land’s End, she sent shells, pictures, presents, fudge.
It felt significant, seeing lay-lines, a charming if unscientific foible and loving connections…I started writing.