"An ever-intriguing writer."
"A genuine talent."



Northeast Veering Northwest 6 Or 7 Occasionally Gale 8 Later

I’m been out chasing cumulonimbi
in the lowlands for the past four days,
and eventually they’ve led me here.
To the so-called Fun Coast.
To the very brink of the North Sea.
A bracing north-easterly gale is howling along the sand.
Beaufort scale 8 and rising.
Bottons Pleasure Beach is closed for the season.
The donkeys have all been sent to the glue factory.
I park the SAAB 900 Turbo near a low coastal wall,
squeeze on the handbrake, and open the automatic sun-roof
to allow the polar breeze to swirl around the cockpit.
According to the Met Office, the odds of being struck
by lightning in your lifetime are about one in three million.
Higher than your chances of ever winning the lottery.
However, between the years 1942 and 1977,
U.S forest ranger Roy Sullivan was struck
on no less than seven different occasions,
and always survived to tell the tale.
Minus a toenail and a eyebrow or two.
Not once did this man from Shenandoah
go off in search of the lightning bolts,
and yet always, the lighting bolts seemed to find him.
I watch through the windscreen as the squall line
moves off in the direction of the Dogger sandbank.
Heligoland was renamed German Bight in 1956.
Finisterre became Fitzroy in 2002.
With any luck, this will all make some kind of sense in the end.
Though it’s true, I have my doubts.

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