Sunday, 28 April 2013

High Tide00:38 (2.60m)
Low Tide06:49 (0.50m)
High Tide13:01 (2.50m)
Low Tide19:11 (0.50m)

Sea temperature: 8.2
Sea conditions: still, calm
Weather: chillier but sunny
Joined by: 4 seals
Topics of conversation: 
It was just DK and me this morning but we were joined by 4 large grey seals, which didn't look grey at all but were glossy black, like polished jet. At first just one appeared a little way off, which we have become almost accustomed to, but it was obviously the advance party as within a couple of seconds we had two of them up close and personal. Then another pair appeared just south of us. They were clearly curious but also seemed to be courting each other.The closest pair were dancing in the water and raising themselves up, touching noses gently, then looking at us and flicking their tails. The sun was really bright and the sky was white so they really shone and we were close enough see water drops on their whiskers. Once we were out of the water they swam of towards Dunwich and I wasn't able to get a photograph but this image gives and impression of our experience.

DK has just returned from Ypres and his experience had moved him, which he had been prepared for but I don't think anything can prepare you for the sheer scale of the loss of life. One guide had explained how it wasn't just the volume but the speed at which the men died that was shocking - thousands in hours of sustained massacre. I have the sense that it was the futility of it all that has impacted on DK most and the indiscriminate loss young men in their prime. 
The memorial service - Will's father gave the most honourable and brave eulogy. He spoke about his son with love and honesty and touched the hearts of the overspilling church. He'd been understandably nervous that he'd not be able to speak but afterwards when I spoke to him and said how moved I'd been, he replied that he didn't think he'd be able to get through it but "when you love someone that much it turns out that it's easy". He came over yesterday and we all agreed that the day could not have gone better and that Will would have approved. Will's brother has returned to London and his parents have declared the official mourning period over, which we will respect.

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