First Light on the Solway Firth

When I used to stay at my Grandma's house in the holidays, I remember her getting up at the crack of dawn, singing a little ditty as she walked down the stairs to make her first cup of milky coffee. I'd look at my Swatch watch on the bedside table and wonder why she was getting up so early, then promptly rolled over and fell back to sleep. But I'm recognising that this time of day has a quiet quality that's good for me. Recently I've been waking up early doors, just before first light. I've been enjoying dawn walks by the river with thermos flask tea, listening to the birds sound checking in preparation for the dawn chorus.

As some of you know, we recently went up to Dumfries and Galloway on the hunt to see a murmuration (we're working on a film about those beautiful starlings!). We found a gorgeous little wood cabin on Airbnb that looked directly onto the Solway Firth. I was waking up particularly early, I always do on holiday. I waited to see a little chink of light break through the clouds, and then ventured out to watch the morning break. Everything was such an intense blue. The oystercatchers and curlews chattered on the wet sand, silhouetted as they searched for their breakfast. Tiny house lights flickered across the water, families waking up to the day. The starlings huddled together on the telephone wire behind me. The intense blue gave in to grey, and to the golden hue of the sunrise. I'm enjoying these peaceful still starts to the day.

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