Our own Island - retreating on Lihou for a night

What better way to enjoy Friday the 13th then to spend the night on Lihou Island (http://www.lihouisland.com) singing songs and reading poetry around a blazing fire on the beach with friends, the moon shining in the background and the stars overhead.

There were 6 of us staying overnight, Ewan, his Mum, Val, Hayley, Carol, Mike and I and while we had not all spent time together before, it worked out very well. The tide covered the causeway about 5.45pm and we were then marooned, alone, on our very own Island for the night. I mean how many places in the world can you do that without it costing you an absolute fortune. Lucky us!

Ewan and I stayed on Lihou on our own in the winter of 2009, the same weekend that a snowy owl had taken up residence and we had such an incredible time, accidentally walking within a metre of the owl during one of our rambles and having the fortune to watch it flying away from us and sitting up on a rock at the far end of the Island.

This time there was no snowy owl but the Island was still as magical as ever. We cooked some food on the bbq and sat outside and shared salads too, views of Guernsey one way and the sun setting the other. We went for a walk and watched the seagulls flying off for the night before we settled on the beach at a spot chosen by Mike for our evening fire. Ewan, Mike and Val did a grand job of collecting driftwood and before long we were sitting together enjoying the heat, energy and light of a burning fire.

Mike made some improvised musical instruments by filling bottles with stones and knocking other stones together, we had a little sing song before we Hayley read us some of Hazif's poetry. The moon was shining in the background and we could see a cruise liner sailing past on the horizon.

I slept better than I have slept in a long time, there is something so relaxing about watching a fire, like tantrak, I guess it helps to release melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep. The tide was rising when we did wake up and it was raining and overcast, what a change form the day before. Still this did not deter us. Hayley and I practised Yoga together in the lounge with views of the sea and the Hanois lighthouse in the background, while Ewan and Mike cleared up the fire from the beach.

The 6 of us then sat around together in the conservatory eating breakfast, drinking tea and watching all the birds flying around and others resting on the rocks in front of us. The house does not have a TV and nor does it need one, there is nothing quite like watching nature, it is simply mesmerising.

Despite the rain Ewan and I went for a high tide swim and were amazed that the sea felt as warm as it did (as warm as the sea ever feels!). We were also amazed to find the beach littered with green pebbles, I have never seen pebbles that colour before, it must be a special Lihou thing. Warm sea or not, it was rather lovely to enjoy a warm shower afterwards!

After lunch we went for a walk. The Island is simply stunning, the grass is coated with tiny yellow, purple and pink flowers and there are birds everywhere. The light feels different somehow too, it really is a perfect place to connect with nature and retreat from the hectic pace of modern life. It was almost a little sad when the tide dropped and the causeway opened again and I was a little surprised how quickly people started waking across to visit what had been our own little Island!

Thank you to the Universe for making this such a magical 24 hours and thank you to Ewan, Val, Hayley, Carol and Mike for providing such great company with much laughter and merriment.

I am off to France with Hayley tomorrow for some camping fun and games before meeting Ewan on Thursday and heading to Tessa and Carl's farm in Normandy for Tessa's 40th birthday party - this is certainly an abundant Summer for us!
Ross DespresComment