Beached brainwaves


          I have these stones, I like stones, I like the different colours and textures.  I like the way they feel cold in my grip but quickly warm up to the temperature of my hand, as if the life of long ago is being returned.

          I like to pick up stones from places I’ve been, I like the memories they hold. But here’s my problem, the memory fades and I’m struggling to place where they came from.

          Working on the process of elimination,  and with the help of a few old posts and pictures, maybe I can prompt a few more memories back out from the murky depths of beyond.

          I remember the footprint shaped pebble, picked up in Weymouth a good few years ago,  I remember playing with the footprint it left in the damp sand in “Stones

          I also remember the shoe-shaped footprint I found on Penarth beach at a later date,  a fit that I believe even Cinderella would have been proud of in “One shoe off

2014-08. Footprints.

          Can you see the piece of driftwood?  it doesn’t quite qualify as a stone or pebble, but it was picked up on a beach and has a memory behind it too in “Pebbles and driftwood

20-15-01. Driftwood.

          Those were the easy ones.  At the middle at the top of the picture is a quite sharp, brownish looking stone. I added this to my collection when I was almost at the top of Snowdon.  The picture below is of a cairn, a mound of stones placed on the route to show the way to those who travel that way.  It’s turned into a tradition to pick up and add another stone as you pass but apparently a cairn is only supposed to be found at the peak of a mountain and the ones being made by walkers on Snowdon are starting to damage the mountain by allowing the weather to erode the un-protected ground where the stones have been removed.

          When we did our Snowdon expedition, I wasn’t really in any physical or medical shape to go climbing mountains, but I made it to the top and posted about “Going up“, via the “Pyg track“, and “Coming down” via the Llanberis path

          Another stone I remember picking up is the pale one on the far right of the picture.  It has little silver bits in it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a stone twinkle so much. I picked it up at St. Michael’s Mount, a short drive away from Falmouth where we were staying.

          It’s rumoured that in days gone by a giant used to live on the island and would walk along a pathway here at low tide to come ashore.  I wonder if the pebble I picked up had been around in the giant’s time.

          We were really lucky with a few hours of bright sunshine to visit the island, but the Cornish weather was closing in around us for this picture in “St. Michael’s Mist“.

2014-09. Mists return.

          I’m pretty sure that the stone in the bottom right of the picture came from Barcelona.  I found it quite fitting that the stone I would bring home from “Beach walking” in the city by the sea was the remains of a man-made building brick.

2014-06. Beach walking.

          Again, I can remember where the golf-ball shaped stone came from, the sort of rough, dark grey, boring looking one. I picked it up in Norwich.

          What’s that you say?  There’s no beach in Norwich?

          Ah yes, you’re probably right, but there is an old city wall and it’s made up of the boring dark grey stones, but don’t let the rather rough and rugged exterior deceive you, as is often the case hidden inside is a gem, once broken apart these stones have a smooth,  shiny appearance,  almost like marble.  I had harboured thoughts of keeping this stone in my pocket and “worrying” it smooth and shiny, but for that I should have picked a slightly small stone maybe.  Check out more of the “Contrast” of Norwich stonework. .

          Well, that’s about it, the two shells on the left were my latest additions. I think I picked them up on a beach day in Lagos, in the Algarve, that was our last holiday but I can’t be one hundred percent certain, and I seem to think the two little brown and grey shells came with the brick from Barcelona,  but again certainty is a luxury I’ll have to do without.

          As for the others, maybe they meant something when I picked them up, maybe they just made me smile. In anycase,  they’ve earned their places in the glass bowl in my “Seasideish” Kitchen, just by being there

          No wait, there’s another glimmer of a memory in the murky depths of my mind.  While reading through the preview of this post I clicked on one of the suggested links and arrived at the “Smugglers Inn“.  I read about a time when I picked up a little stone with a fossil on it, and how I carried it around in my pocket for a long time, rubbing the fossil with my thumb in the safe, dark pocket until it was almost rubbed away.

          You see the little brown stone near the centre at the top?  See how shiny it is?  I fished around in my glass bowl until I found it again and you can’t see on the picture, but I turned it over and there, just about visible on the one end was an almost smooth fossil.  

          I held it tight,  like an old friend, gave it one more rub for luck, and put it safely back in its new home in the bowl .


7 thoughts on “Beached brainwaves

  1. I love that you can remember where you picked up your stones and shells. Maybe I should borrow from you and start taking photos and posting about the things I pick up and put in my pockets. I do most of my collecting with the camera now, but every now and then there is a stone or a shell or a feather or a piece of wood that calls to be picked up and carried home.

    • A friend of mine told me she has a “little box of happy” where she keeps the little bits and bobs that make her smile. Sounds like a great idea to me. I’ve collected so many little smiles here and there, but now that I’m having to de-clutter to move, I really need to gather up the little bits safely or I’ll forget them.

    • Sorry, I missed this comment when you stopped by, I did think of you when I posted about my stones.
      Glad you liked the Norwich picture, it’s one of those where I clambered around in silly positions to get the right angle to catch a glimpse of the trees through the gap in the stones. 🙂

  2. A lovely collection! I also enjoy bringing home little natural mementoes of beach holidays, and have just brought back a small – but heavy – collection of slate, stones and a shell from beaches in Wales 🙂

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