Wild snaking sands through Northumberland winter and a poet looks out to violent current. She’s recounting tides before her own arrival, when on the grandparent’s honeymoon, he wasn’t waving he was actually drowning. And it was here. Facing out to the North Sea, we greet the very waves that threatened to engulf him. She’s remarking that if he hadn’t have made it, she wouldn’t be of this moment: staring across at a small collection of black birds along the shoreline. And minutes later there is laughter chasing our little brown dog across the bay.
The wildness of this place is an antidote to tinsel and pre-Christmas jingle. I am wrapped up in the fierce air, and it’s refreshing. I think of my own grandparents – the last one gone into hospital a year to the day, its striplight environment unimaginable now under heavy clouds and winter sun. He feels elemental now. He was of this air, this water. We only were ever able to stand at the edge of him. He had been too far out all of his life.