Suddenly, an alarm of gulls, like white doilies flung above the harbour frenzy of echoes, cliffs bouncing the sound wheeling the thermals.
No coastguard call, this. Nor canon, or gunshot of war. It could be New Year’s Eve by daylight feathering the air, or beach fireworks November fifth.
But it’s eight p.m. on an April Thursday, the year opening up to the midnight sun. Another week of lockdown marking gratitude and grief in equal parts.
Isn’t it always creatures who react first – like the rats and rabbits you and I saw that time rushing up from a gorge as thunder rumbled presaging a thirty-foot rise above the riverbed?
And so, driven by the human cry gulls circle, pigeons swoop and spread, the year’s first swifts too, as hands reach out and clap from open windows and doors,
spoons bang against saucepans, and a single car horn blasts as it speeds along the deserted harbour road as if our thunder will chase away the storm.