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  • ben--taylor0

Getting round

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

Have you ever bought a cake, and thought to yourself

"ooh this will last a few days. That's exciting."

And then you get home.

And the whole thing gets eaten before you've even had a cup of tea?

Just wondered...

I made it to the head of Loch Fyne today. Which is where I am currently lying, feeling quite round, and incapable of doing much at all.

Except perhaps breathing.

It's been lovely the last few days, crystal clear, cool winds, bright sun, and some odd showers that seem to just trail past of their own accord, defying wind direction, and probably some other laws of physics; in the same way that jellyfish just seem to mosy along, in a world completely of their own devising.

Before that, it could be argued that it was even lovelier.

Mainly because it was warmer.

Going around Loch Striven, on Sunday, was quite incredible.

It was a day where I kept stopping and just enjoying looking around the place, gawping, or lying down listening to the chattering's in the trees.

I succeeded in making it up the east shore of the loch; which I had been forewarned as being like a sort of hellish jungle. It turned out to be a great walk, the trail disappeared a lot, but, as it happens, there were enough deer trails to follow, and flowers smiling at me endearingly; I was quite happy to crash on pathlessly.

I finished the day by paddling several miles down the other side.

During this time, I was followed for about four miles by a fairly disorganised team of atlantic seals.

And joined briefly by a lonesome porpoise.

But the day came to a cutting close when a white-tailed eagle swooped down over me and alighted on a pine tree jutting out over the loch.

It then proceeded to clean itself.

It looked down at me occasionally as if to say "eev-nin".

I momentarily wondered if it was capable of plucking me from the little green kayak, and sharing me with its friends.

I decided it wasn't interested, and that I would leave it to its business.

The great metropolis of Dunoon was reached last Friday, at about 10:30 in the morning.

I was made very welcome, by lots of different people.

We did a little beach cleaning with Jason from Wreckspeditons, and then had coffee in the sun.

Being fairly new to marine activities, it was great to just sit and listen to them talk about trips out in rough seas, diving and various local goings-on.

A big thank you to Dunoon, for having such warm and friendly folks. Folks that said hello to me. And made me coffee. And gave me wine. And fed me pringles.

I'm not sure why the above picture was taken.

I've seen plenty of interesting and sad looking trash lying around.

Why this one?

Maybe it's the fact that it was just sitting under a tree, next to a fish farm; with a big symbol on the front showing a dead tree, and an even deader fish.

Here's a nicer picture.

For if you've been dealing with too much crap today and can't bare to think about the state of the environment.

I even crouched in a dramatic way when I took it to make it look extra awesome!

But seriously.

I shouldn't use the word environment.

It's a word that politicians like to use.

Since it conveniently conjures up the image of exactly nowhere at all.

It's beyond vague.

I should just say ocean.

As in.

The ocean is in a really shit state.

Or earth.


The humans have made a real clever mess of the earth.

To expand on this slightly, it's not like when your a kid and you mess up a room.

You mess it up too much, and so you decide to take your rampaging into another room, and make a fresh mess.

In this situation we're currently in, unfortunately, we don't have another room to go into.

A lot of people do not want to stay here, in this mess. A mess that they didn't necessarily make.

(When I say mess, I also mean it in many different ways)

And there is an increasing number of folks who have, perhaps, realised that there really is no other room to go to.

And so, inevitably, some seek to move themselves on from life, since there seems to be very little to look forward to, other than more mess.

Let me be clear and say, I sometimes still feel like this.

The difference between now, and when I was really struggling a couple of years ago, is twofold.

Firstly, I found out that the real world seems to be existing right now.

Not as something in the future.

Something to look towards.

Something to fear.

Or in the past.

As memory.

As pain.

But in the 'whateverimfeelingordoingrightnow-ness' that exists forever, and is always changing and evolving.

And, maybe most importantly, always finding new ways to surprise me.

Secondly, and completely contradictory to what I just said, I do have a few things to look forward to.

But I put that down to being one of the lucky ones.

What I do have to look forward to at the moment, is waking up in the morning in a peaceful place, and beginning an extraordinarily long journey south, down the west side of loch fyne towards the mull of kintyre.

And having some actual bananas for breakfast.

I guess its the little things really.

Maybe that's what makes life truly bareable.

Anyway, on a final note, I saw a cuckoo up close earlier.

Quite a rare opportunity. And what a completely mad bird it is.

In flight, its tail is like an ornate paper fan, with several sections missing.

It seems to behave like a wild haired scientist, or maybe an eccentric off-the-grid musician.

It sort of leaps in the air for no apparent reason, and then, whilst in mid-air, a thought occurs to it, and it forgets all about the flying it was supposed to be doing. And then at the last moment, before colliding with the telegraph pole it was just sitting on, it decides, oddly, to flap one wing, as if still following its thought pattern. And then at the final second, comes to the profound realisation that it is flying, panics slightly and flaps both wings with ridiculous intensity, and ends up nearly colliding straight through the telegraph pole.

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