Walking to the far beach, we always pass these disused baths, for many years the favoured fashion for watering-troughs for the cattle, here in the Highlands. Recycling at its best, I’d say! Nothing is ever wasted, or thrown out up here, ’cause “you never know…”!
Every old boat is allowed to be reclaimed gently and with dignity by the either the land or the sea.
I’m often reminded of my favourite piece of writing by the Scottish poet Norman MacCaig:
So many summers
Beside one loch, a hind’s neat skeleton,
Beside another, a boat pulled high and dry:
Two neat geometries drawn in the weather:
Two things already dead and still to die.
I passed them every summer, rod in hand,
Skirting the bright blue or the spitting gray,
And, every summer, saw how the bleached timbers
Gaped wider and the neat ribs fell away.
Time adds one malice to another one–
Now you’d look very close before you knew
If it’s the boat that ran, the hind went sailing.
So many summers, and I have lived them too.