Graveyard, Fair Isle

Arriving rather footsore and weary at the southern tip of Fair Isle, I let the rest of the party carry on to explore the lighthouse while I found a seat in a little stone-walled graveyard. I had heard this island mentioned so many times in the shipping forecast, but had never imagined I would actually come here. I sat for a while looking out at the hazy line of horizon, and found myself thinking, “This is what it is, and that is quite sufficient”.

The horizon was not sharp and clear, but hazy with maybe a hint of sea fog. Below, the silvery grey sea, smudged with dark lines of a light swell, glinted where wave-tops caught the light. Above, thin cumulus covered the sky, heavier dark above, lighter where it met the sea. Nearer the shore, a line of rocks rose from the sea, black against the light, upturned strata forming jagged tops. The swell, blown in by an almost imperceptible onshore wind, gathered height as it approached the shallows and broke gently on the shore, except where a tidal race surged between two of the larger rocks, throwing up turbulence and broken waves.

A shag stood sentinel on one of the nearer rocks; gulls flew lazily past; an oystercatcher cried shrilly; the waves murmured as they rolled up the beach

It was a grey scene, but quietly so. A comforting rather than a gloomy grey, subtle watercolour greys. Something in this place captured me. It was the kind of simple place I had been looking for and not found so far on this voyage. It seemed like a place that accepted me. Where I could stay and rest rather than rush on to see the next sight.

All I really wanted to say was, it is what it is. This simple beauty. This is the world we have. And please will you stop wishing for something else?


  1. Lovely , and can you put date and place please, Ex

  2. says:

    Hi Peter, As soon as you mentioned your sore feet I knew you would find the ‘right place’ to rest them away from the madding crowd! I can imagine your satisfaction in finding your contemplative seat while they were healing themselves. We’re enjoying the journey too, thank you!

    Love and best wishes, Steve and Mel.

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Peter Hawkins says:

    Really enjoying following your journey Peter – and thank you for yoru very evocative accounts of each stage. Go well. Peter

  4. Good to be able to keep hearing your voice. Enjoy the soft greys. Sarah xxx

  5. Lovely to hear your good true words

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