Scottish seaglass by author Graham Morgan

Ardmore, the sea and me

By Graham Morgan

I must sound like a stamp collector! Nothing wrong with that! I say to myself; remembering a very distant childhood.

I collect seaglass or sometimes I do. It is not good for my mental health like medication might be, or my CPN or doctor but it is good, like a walk in the woods, a good rest, a moment of bright laughter.

I usually walk the shore on the Firth of Clyde in Argyll with Wendy my partner. I would like to say soft sand and marram grass but really mud and pebbles. Still, it remains pretty idyllic.

Today as I walked along, I could see seals on the rocks and the yellow of gorse flowers. In the summer, when there is a soft breeze and the butterflies and bees are everywhere, the waves ripple and the curlews call; I like to sit among the pebbles to smell the sea. I listen to the wind and watch Wendy walking; peering intently at the ground; occasionally shouting with a weird glee when she finds a Bakelite bottle stopper or jewels of red, green, amber and blue sea smoothed glass.

I prefer to sit and swish my hands in the fine pebbles, vaguely watching ships on their way to, I have no idea where. Idly picking up bits of seaglass; piling them in my lap to take home later. I like seeing the names of long closed glass works on the jewellery. I like to find bits of crockery and imagine a family sitting down taking stew from the pot it once formed. Sometimes, as I walk, I come across the black heels of long gone whisky bottles, almost like obsidian. I try to imagine what the bottle would have looked like but never quite succeed.

This; the breeze on my face; far off the sound of cars, but here bird song and gorse pods cracking in the breeze. That smell of seaweed, the old wreck offshore; a murmur of conversation. I forget about the roar of my thoughts at night here. I forget about so much. I look up and smile at the person I now live with and walk back to the car hand in hand, thinking; even for people like us; life can be wonderful!

Graham Morgan is the author of Start, a memoir of love, life and schizophrenia. Available here, and from all good bookshops and published by Fledgling Press

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