It seemed like a decade. A decade of summers, camping by a Scottish beach. Each day spent foraging for shellfish, seaweeds, soaking in the sea essence and just 'be-ing' - a sensation akin to shinrin-yoku, the 'forest bathing' favoured in Japan. Some days it really was of course dreich, a fine mizzle that blotted out the sun, but a by-product of the sky that subtly encouraged and watered the mycelial growth in the darkness of forest soil producing a feast of abundant edible fungi. The unforgettable yellow carpets of chanterelles woven into a weft of vividly green moss. A surf and turf technicolour chowder secured; borrowed from the simple gifts of nature and cooked over a woody beach flotsam fire, crackling with imbued saltiness. Thus were a decade of pleasures memorised and discussed over other, more serious night fires, waiting for the fuzzy night snowball of the Pleiades or the Perseids shooting stars of the dark Galloway August skies. But there were things other than wild food and meditations on life on the beach too. Weather worn, breaker bashed, sand scoured remnant homes of the mighty limpet. Tough dwellings conically built to withstand the fury of a Solway storm or the wandering whiplash of a downgraded once-Sargasso born hurricane. Tough hombres these limpets but, once repossessed by old age, accident or the suctioning sea, their homes were reduced to shelly rings and their occupants minced in the digestive systems of crabs and seagulls. Take a hundred rings discarded and add imagination. The creative knot to blend these with the tideline flotsam of plastic fishing lines, ropes, nets and the disbanded detritus of the Scottish fishing industry just came to me; sat on a contemplative rock of greywacke with the sound of oyster-catchers. Mindlessness. Out of which moment of twiddling came STRIMPETS. String-limpets.
These items of Anthropocene eco-humanism will be available to buy in my shop soon. Each one is UNIQUE and each one has a story of nature re-imagined with the goodness of taking another strand of plastic out of the ocean. Pick one out of my shop window when the Christmas lights come on perhaps?