6.40 am. The sound of littlest stirring rouses me from deep slumber to a semi conscious state. The odd word is spoken but mostly he picks out a tune. A mixed up medley of Happy Birthday, Wind The Bobbin Up and Wheels On The Bus. I’m brought to full awareness quite quickly by the word “Daddeeee” as he lands his full weight upon my head. Wifey has been up with him in the night and is growling. It’s clearly time to get up.
Gulls are overhead calling out to one another as they wheel on high and the smaller birds in the hedgerows and trees chatter constantly. There is no human sound at all. Littlest is now jabbering on at full pelt. He will wake everyone so we get dressed, grab some toast and a drink and head out.
We make straight for the playground by crossing the football field. The grass is laden with dew and my toes are soon wet. I shuffle my feet and the heady scent of the camomile tightly knit with the grass wafts up and awakens sleepy senses. A pair of swifts swoop low across the grass with centimetres to spare, circling me, round and around at amazing speed snatching bugs that my steps may disturb.
I sit and watch littlest play. The flag at the Star Castle Hotel hangs limp. There isn’t a breath of wind. A morning mist is draped like a cloak over the islands that flattens any sound apart from the gentle roar of the ocean that is never far away; a permanent soundtrack. Across the bay only the landing lights at the airport are visible.
We walk down onto the Garrison. The turf on the hill is soft underfoot. Blackbirds and Song Thrush hop away searching for breakfast. The sound of the tide is now more prominent as we get down to the Garrison walls. Ancient cannons face out to challenge a long distant threat as an early morning yacht passes along St Mary’s Sound on an iron wind.
The mist is slowly beginning to lift as its hold is weakened by an ever rising sun. 100 shades of grey begin to reveal themselves as greens, blues and heather purples. A Cormorant stands on a rock surveying his territory as the tide washes around just feet below him. A sudden sound approches but passes by quickly as a trio of Oystercatchers whizz by in formation. Silence once more descends with only the idle clang of the bell on a bouy being gently tolled by the swell.
We walk a little as the morning begins to warm. The sky, once a grey quilt is now a patchwork of blue and holds the promise of the day to come. Bishop Rock lighthouse stands at the furthest eastern point like a sentinel guarding the gates to the shores. An unmistakeable warning to all travellers of the perils of the rocks beyond.
Along the path wild Honeysuckle is woven into the gorse and shrubs. A delightful aroma drifts forth as we pass by and hear the first motorised sound of a launch crossing from St Agnes.
We stroll the final part of the Garrison overlooking a handful of yachts moored off Porthcressa gently bobbing in the bay. As we reach the Star Castle the mist has dissipated. The off islands are now clear and signs of activity in the town and on the quay can be seen.
I take a deep breath and relax. It was an early start…but it was worth it.