Back to it!  It’s after eight, as I sit down to write this.  Good timing, with the window directly above me, as the sun is going down and the birds are chattering away as they prepare for bed.  Must say, the birds do love this place!

Not long back from the beach, actually, and the tide was miles out, once again.  Back to normal.  As ever, as I walked, the other dots on the sand seemed to disappear one-by-one until I was alone with my thoughts – and my parents!  Paradise, as Pop would say.  The breeze was gentle, as I walked along the water’s edge, stopping, every so often, to soak in the splendour … and wonder.  I love to watch the waves take form as the force from the tide, returning, makes the sea curl up and over.  The beautiful swirl of the white marling in the water, as though the work of a delicate paint brush, before the white froth crashes back down towards the sand.  Nature is truly wondrous and the gift of time to be able to stop and ponder its magic is something I have never taken for granted.

One question.  What makes the waves white?  The thrill of that first glimpse of the sea – heightened by the sight of the white-topped waves rolling in – as we arrived in Banff, or Largs enroute to Millport for our summer holiday – stays with me.  Piled in the back of the car – me, always in the middle – we used to shout ‘I see sea!’ or break into song, ‘Summer has come from the sunny land, summer is here to stay …’.  I told you, life was so much simpler then.  We may have had less, in terms of material things, but we were so much richer!

It is my friend, Fiona’s Birthday, today.  Chatting on the phone, she commented that I seemed very focused on the past just now.  She’s right.  Gosh, I have just looked up and the formation of clouds has turned pink against the pale blue sky and there’s one individual star directly overhead.  Wow!  Now, if that doesn’t make one think, what does?  I remember that awful time when Wilbur died – our beloved Clumber Spaniel – in January, 2011.  He was thirteen and a half years old and had done his best to stay with us as long as possible.  We were heartbroken but, that very night, a lone star appeared in the sky shining brightly above the back garden and it was there every night for weeks.  We called it Billy’s Star and the comfort we gleaned from it, I cannot tell you …  I wish you could see this one above me now.  I’ve tried to catch it on my phone but, unsuccessfully.  Perhaps, it really is a magic star and, that being so, like fairies, it cannot be captured on camera.  Definitely one to wish upon, though, and that I have done.  Who do I think it is?  Well, definitely one of two: Pop or Wilby.  I like to think they are together, watching over us.  How many gins?  Only one!

I should imagine this enforced pause in our lives must have encouraged many to reflect.  I hope so.  Much needed.  Time for perspective and an appreciation of what is truly important.  Separated from family members and loved ones, acutely aware of this virus’ ability to fell, it is sobering in the extreme.  Nothing is more important than one’s family and friends and their wellbeing.  The rest?  Accessories.

Gosh, I shall never forget this evening and watching the changing hue of the sky, as I write, and the day bids its farewell.  My star is becoming increasingly bright, perhaps in recognition of my wonder.  You might like to know that my glass has been empty for some time!  Becca has, now, seen fit to come upstairs and replenish it.  What’s the saying?  Why have a monkey … ?!  Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Walking along the sand, earlier, I was pondering this evening’s topic.  Having, obviously, alienated some of my readers with my Jeremy Clarkson quote referencing Hitler at the end of yesterday’s offering (at least Manny appreciated the humour), I have decided to … plough on as normal and detail my plans for the future, on release!  It has been a time to reflect and a stark realisation that life can be taken in an instant.  Not one of us knows how long we have (I have a feeling that is not grammatically correct) so why sit about here?!  There are so many beautiful places to see and everyone has a bucket list.  I need to go to Montana, to Dakota, to Wyoming, to Colorado and the Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone National Park.  I have to see the Grand Canyon, Donny & Marie in Las Vegas, eat baked beans with the cowboys under the stars; drive down Route 66 and see the Mrs Doubtfire house in San Francisco!

I want to go back to Kenya – to Elsa’s Kopje in Meru – and sip sundowners with Becca, Manny and Ginny on the rock, by the fire, overlooking Africa!  I made a promise to myself – in 2000 – that I would do just that … and I will!  I want to take them to Samburu to see elephants in the wild – and be truly humbled, as I was.  We, also, have to drive round The Cape, the southern-most tip of Africa (The Cape of Good Hope) as I did with Nanny and Bapa in 1987.  There can be no more spectacular coastline.

So many more places to see.  I was about to write Winnepesaukee – the location, I thought, for the 1981 (help!) film, On Golden Pond – but, on googling the spelling just now, I have just learned that the actual location for that unforgettable film was Squam Lake, Holderness, New Hampshire.  No matter.  I want to go there, too …

There is an urgency, coupled with a laissez-faire attitude, and I am seriously contemplating my wandering future.  I have a finite amount of money, no career – not only was I, once, referred to as ‘a woman in her fifties with no skills’ but, more recently, Princess Beatrice, in The Windsors, referred to Trish as ‘a common shop ‘gull’’ – and a passion for writing.  Methinks it is a no-brainer!

Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.’ 

The Ride Down Mount Morgan, Arthur Miller. 

This is Trish, signing off.

Back on Thursday.  Wednesday is for that book I keep threatening!