Saturday, 8 August 2015

Snow Goose - Made My Day

I went to the Community Workshop sale today - which was a bit of a rummage sale; the sort where you can look and find some special treasures. One that jumped into my arms today was a thin, hardcover volume of The Snow Goose: a story of Dunkirk. Something about it drew my attention; perhaps the narrowness of it and the potential to get it read today so that it wouldn't sit languishing on my bookshelf having to wait for school holidays to be read. Anyway, the turquoise cover delicately traced with geese in flight would not be put down. I turned the first pages and saw the words Essex then Hastings (which is in Sussex I'm pretty sure), and they touched my heart as that is the area from which I originally hail.  I asked the price and it was free! I headed home with a box of lovely things to share with the children at school next week and for me that very small book. It's the lot of  teachers to find things everywhere that will delight and inspire their students...and most of us can't help buying them when we find them!
Not the rummage sale but the glorious, sun-kissed remnant of a cold and snowy week. 

Once home I found my little house shrouded in shady stripes as this time of year the sun rises not quite high enough in the sky to clear the tall eucalypts across the way, and decided to head down the road again to find a sunny spot to enjoy said book. I took the camera along and enjoyed taking note of a few of the sights along the way as I walked the seafront. It is rare to have a day so still and that made it pleasant to sit at the very seaward end of the wharf in the sun to read. I had a brief chat with a visiting fisherman - a young man from Canada or The States - who was pulling a few small garfish from the water. Once settled in the pleasant solitude at the end of the wharf, I was  distracted from my task (no, my bliss) only once by a local lady who stopped by with her very friendly chocolate lab for a wee exchange of sunny day pleasantries. 

The Snow Goose was beautiful and tragic and beautiful and tragic all over again. The language was richly descriptive and I relished every crafted sentence as I slowly walked my way over the cold and windy marshes and marvelled at the migratory birds as they came and went with the seasons. The story was rudely interrupted by war. How it spoiled a wondrous and unlikely friendship - love story - then brought it all to an abrupt and terrible end. Ah, but what a wonderful story all the same. It evokes such emotion to be in the crooked body of Rhayader. Is that not somehow reminiscent of the disfigurement we all somehow feel, either physical or in some hidden sense? And to have someone see the faults but to also see past them to the part of us that is gentle and kind and loving and so very truly miraculous that is. Love. Acceptance. They are powerful actions.

Notice the gorgeous texture on the old pages. Printed in August 1955 so 60 years old.
Love that 'old book' smell!
The Snow Goose and I headed back to find the car as the four o'clock chill began to settle. Satisfied with the time we had spent getting to know each other, it was comforting to be on the way home together. It will wait on the bookshelf to be read again in the school holidays. I think it just may become a favourite. 

I am so blessed to live in this beautiful place near both sea and mountains. I found myself more alert to the birds on my way back to the car this afternoon. Some I managed to 'snap' but I just might need to treat myself to a better camera one day. Here are a few below but I also saw Spotted Pardelotes, sparrows, Fairy Wrens and the ubiquitous and always complaining plovers.

What a view beyond! Bags of mussel ropes.

Pristine snowy white.

Find the smiley face - someone has a sense of humour!

Mussel trays

Waiting for summer.

Button grass.

Winter sunlight playing on water.

Ducks heading upstream.

Seagulls aplenty - bring on the chips!

Pacific gulls - they are so striking up close.

There's a cormorant in there somewhere.
I watched him ducking under water to fish and up his head would bob again. 

Water playing on sand.
Blue Pallets.


  1. Where you live and how you spent your day is my idea of heaven x

    1. It was heavenly today Kim, especially to spend some time in the sunshine after the wet, windy,snowy week we've just had. :) Hoping to manage life so that I spend lots more heavenly days! xo

  2. And after your review I may have to give Snow Goose a try. 😊

    1. Let me know if you enjoy it Kim :) You might even be able to visit the places in the book! Thanks too for the lovely compliment!! xx