I Can’t Read

I have always loved listening to stories. My happiest memories are of awful weather in Scotland; howling winds, lashing rain, impossible to go outside. We, however, are curled up snug on the sofa and armchairs, cuddling orphaned lambs, puppies, kittens as the coal fired Rayburn pumps out heat. For entire afternoons our Mother would read us stories; Masterman Ready, Midshipman Easy, The Call of the Wild, What Katy Did, The Arabian Nights, Bosambo of the River, Swallows and Amazons. As the years passed my Mother was less inclined to spend her time reading me stories and I had to read books on my own.

This I loved too and spent far too much time reading when I should have been playing with my children or paying attention to my wife. However a decade or so ago I started listening to audiobooks. What a revelation! Someone was reading me a story! All I had to do was put my thumb in my mouth and cuddle an orphaned lamb. I almost completely stopped reading. In fact the only thing I have read in the last 10-15 years is the Marine Quarterly.

This is a book, recommended by Brother Ian. What do I do with it?

I try to read but I soon lose concentration. I wonder what Ruby Tui is doing.

Go Ruby! Go Black Ferns!

I go to YouTube to check on Ruby Tui stuff and before I know it, I am watching University Challenge or Hornblower or old rugby matches or cooking programs etc, etc.YouTube is the ultimate time waster.

I can no longer just read.

Anyway, I head South to Big Sur to try to find the huge Californian Condor. Such a great drive!

Fields and fields of pumpkins!
European Starling
Juvenile Elephant Seals at Ano Nuevo
Great Blue Heron
Gas at Big Sur. I fear an insurrection!
Heerman’s Gull

I am out for 2 days but do not spot a Condor. Nevertheless, there is of course tons to see.

In the hills above Big Sur. Notice cloud covered ocean.
A couple of hours later. Notice blue ocean.
Marbled Godwit

Brown headed Cowbird

A Willet amongst Godwits

California is endlessly amazing but will I ever read again?

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