The weight of the Sea

“if you can’t be by the sea, bring the sea to you”.

As a temporary concession to living in the city I arranged all of my sea themed books on top of a spare flat surface (a storage dresser) in my studio: the ‘Sea Bookshelf’. It’s a joy to look up from my desk and see the beautiful dust jackets containing an ocean of sea myths, histories and lighthouse stories.

Book cover The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst

 I’m no scientist but I know that the weight of water is very heavy. I swam 400 meters in my pyjamas for a Gold Swimming award. The Sea Bookshelf is always expanding. Oceans of sea books sit all in a row on top of the dresser higher and higher. Why didn’t I ever consider the health and safety implications of this?

 Yesterday I bent down next to the dresser, and in a nutshell, the Sea Bookshelf imploded against the ‘Bruno Bear’ ceramic lamp I had foolishly used as a book stop. The Bear Lamp nearly brained me but missed me by a seagull feather of a millimetre. It could’ve done some serious damage to my head as it chipped off a corner of the dresser and smashed the lamp into hundreds of pieces.

 I’ve had that bear lamp since I was small. A family of three bears sit in a ceramic house by a fire. It looks very cozy with the lamp on, and the house looks like a forest cottage with a mysterious and wonderful upstairs window. Once I had recovered and noted that I was lucky not to have been injured, then marvelled at the surprise shatter of ceramic, another sensation came over me. For 35 years I’ve looked into the bear lamp like a giant and it was another world. I’ve always wanted to go inside the cottage, but I was too big. Smashed, I realised that I was actually looking right inside the bear cottage for the first time ever.


They are drinking coffee in little mugs!

A moment of irony and pathos; that the mystery of the bears, like the mystery of the seas, were revealed only at the moment of destruction.

I’m troubled that the government seeks to encourage offshore windfarms. Obviously the crown estate seek to gain massive profit by leasing out the seabeds, but in the long term, it is surely short sighted. The process and effect of pile driving hundreds of 720 feet (220 meter) turbines into the sea will cause long term damage. The sonic effects of construction and installation cause huge disruption to marine species and noise. The secondary damage will be after the ten year construction periods with the vibrations of the turbines, EMF emissions from the cables and the pressure effects of vortices and risk of collision to all wildlife and birds.

Short term quick fixes will not solve the civilied world’s energy crisis.

A short term lodger will solve my minor empty room problem.

We have had a few viewings but no luck yet. It’s a bad time of year, it’s all men coming to look, it’s lovely to have a quiet house for a week as Ben is away and my partner D____ and I have the house to ourselves. Short term bliss, long term resolution necessary.

In terms of Bruno bear worlds and the oceans, my thinking this day is of concern. Too much uncovered spoils the distance between us. With the sea, a necessary distance of respect and beauty is required to ensure the survival of the marine biodiversity that supports the planet.

Bears#3Bears #2


2 Comments on “The weight of the Sea

  1. Once, when I fell out of bed, my girlfriend said: “Did you bang your head? I heard something wooden.”

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