CORDELIA APPLEBY

Writer of children's stories, passionate about writing. Author of Black Water.

What I Saw

Extraordinary things happened to me in Scotland this summer. Such as the small grey seal I found in the bay next to ours, curled like an upturned moustache on a rock in the rain; she turned her white face to look at me, before yawning and scratching her nose with her ridiculous flipper.

Or the hundreds of solitary herons we saw, patrolling every lonely cove, like misers searching for pennies in the sea. They stood motionless for hours, except to spear the occasional fish or rustle into the air and creak regally away when they glimpsed us.

An otter lay sunning itself on a boulder as we rounded a corner on our bikes. It dived into the waves and came up wrestling with a fish twice its size, thrashing and crunching before both vanished beneath the surface again; the otter returned empty pawed a few moments after, and spluttered contemptuously before giving itself a little shake and running behind the rocks.

Just as amazing was the sea eagle mobbed by gulls as it carried a limp bird back to its nest in a windswept Scots pine on the cliffs; or the school of porpoises we watched, bucking through the waves. And the giant Corryvreckan whirlpool that made our tiny boat jump and bounce so that the children screamed with pleasure.

Everything in Scotland was extraordinary. Even the tornado of midges that chased us into our chalet around dusk, and the relentless rain. Not to mention the doe my daughter and I saw, crashing through sopping woodland at twilight, followed by a blood curdling scream.

A startled badger? Somebody being murdered? We got on our bikes and barrelled home.

Even after we locked up our little house and drove away for the very last time, Scotland had one more gift: a young stag darting across our headlights and two tiny fawns staggering drunkenly in the road.

It was in keeping with our wonderful holiday that on that very last night we saw something unexpected.

PS: I got an agent.

3 Comments

  1. Hi there =) I love this post! Congrats on the agent and keep us updated.

  2. I love your blog. It makes me want to go the Scotland. I’m so happy that you were able to find an agent. Hopefully someday I’ll be that fortunate. I wish you every success with future endeavors.

  3. I relished your description of an almost mystical Scotland, especially the similes (or should that be ‘your almost mystical description…?). I’m glad you enjoyed your time up here. Let’s hope you don’t need a passport next time! ;-) Perhaps you ‘d be kind enough to do an ‘exchange of favours’ and comment on my blog–follow it even. There, I hope I’ve made you happy.

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