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Monday, 7 July 2008

A change in the weather

Friday 4th July

Yesterday was such a perfect day, with intense blue skies, and clear views of the mainland, that I had the feeling today might bring a change, and it has indeed. As I write, the winds have moved from south westerly round to the east with squally showers and dull grey skies. It looks then as if we might have to be helicoptered off. The decision will be made after 9am tomorrow though, as late as they can manage really, as if there is any chance at all of using the boat they will take it. The helicopter does after all cost an awful lot of money – something like £1100 an hour I believe, and they do not want to spend this sort of cash if they can avoid it. In fact as I write, a light aircraft is circling the island, several have been around this last week, but none as far as I know have landed. I do not know when the Lundy Flying Day will be this year, but I will miss it anyway, so it matters not.

Back then to today – it has been a quiet and uneventful last day, as they tend to be. I had a late start after a late night to watch the sunset and the stars, both of which were spectacular (another sign of an imminent change in the weather). I was just drifting off to sleep as well, around 11.30pm when my neighbours from the Old Light, who have young children in tow and should have known better, decided to start taking flash photographs of the Old Light at night and talking in loud voices just outside my kitchen window. It obviously did not occur to them that someone may be in the cottage trying to sleep, although I don’t know why not, since I had spoken to them earlier that evening and they knew that I was staying here. I guess as always, people just do not stop to think. The rain is coming down again as I write this.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, this resulted in me not emerging from bed until almost 9am. It was a cloudy day though, and I had done virtually all the walking I wanted to, so I was in no hurry.

After breakfast then and a quick shower I set out across the south west field aiming to try and get down to Montagu Steps. This is about the only place (along with Pilots Quay and Lametry – some places are just a little beyond me) that I have not managed to get down to. The rain is really coming down now thick and fast and battering against the windows, and the wind is rattling the windows – I think they will be shut tonight!

Found the path anyway and ventured down as far as the cliff edge, where the path just seemed to disappear. There seemed to be a sort of isthmus that one had to scramble over and then presumably the steps were over the top of that, but it was too windy for me to think about trying to get down. That, along with the base of the Pyramid (I almost got there on Wednesday) will have to wait for another time, when I am feeling braver, the sun is out, and there is an easterly wind. It does occasionally happen!

I then went on the Castle and down to Bensons Cave when I realised that it was almost low tide, so walked quickly back home, made a hasty lunch of cheese salad, chucked waterproofs and water bottle into my backpack and off I went back down to the Beach to get pictures of Lametry (from the South Light) at low tide. The skies were beginning to turn a very dark shade of grey as I made my way back up the path.

I couldn’t decide whether to go home for a cup of tea or go to the Tavern, but I decided on the Tavern when another couple walked past and went inside. It was then Liz told me about the helicopters tomorrow and that the weather was going to change, and almost on cue that was when the wind seemed to shift from west to east. Rather than walk home in the squall I then spent the afternoon with Peter and Pat in Big St Johns, who are moving to Hamners tomorrow for their final week. After all, I may not get to see them for another year, and maybe not then.

They are coming back on June 13th for 3 weeks again, as there is wedding on 5th July for which the whole island they tell me, is booked, so that may limit my own choices then of when to come back. I was thinking maybe the following week, although that would take me into high season for the 2nd week, when the prices go through the roof. I would also mean going home on the double turnaround, and so less hanging about and possibly less time off from whatever work I am doing this time next year. With the way things are (yet again) at the moment, almost anything can happen, and I am open to whatever the universe (well almost) throws at me.

That then has been the sum total of my last day on this years summer sojourn to Lundy and it is with great sadness, but tinged with acceptance that this time tomorrow I shall be back on the mainland with fond memories of these two last two weeks. Those memories, together with my photographs shall sustain me through the dark winter weeks to come, until I can return again, hopefully in November.

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