When I was 15 years old, in 1982, I went on a geology field trip to Craster and Embleton. Geology was hands-down my favourite subject at secondary school. In part this was due to the fascinating themes and activities we experienced during the lessons, but partly it was down to the wonderful geology teacher we had. Mrs Singleton.
As I walk to the anticline at the foot of Dunstanburgh headland this morning I wonder what Mrs Singleton is doing today. If you are reading this know that you made a big difference in my life Mrs Singleton – your lessons carved a life-long passion for geology that today is part of this current Beadnell-Carson project.
Greymare Rock – a folded, layered geological structure – projects from the sea, its defined strata defiant against the wind and tide. The physical forces that made this rock buckle and bend are unimaginable. Every time I visit this place I remember the first time I saw it: coming down the bank from the castle and into the dip in the golf course.
My plan was to write a poem about the rock, but today – as is sometimes the case with creative expression – the muse eludes me. But I will write about this place, about its geology and what it means to hold up humanity’s time on the planet against the sweep of a geological chronology. When you think of the age of rocks, the age of the planet, the galaxy, and the universe… the numbers are just mind-boggling. Instead I take a photograph of Greymare Rock and decide to dedicate this post to Mrs Singleton. This is for you Mrs Singleton, wherever you may be.