Three Line Tales : A second skin

three line tales week 111: two puffins ; ireland st patrick's day

photo by Wynand van Poortvliet via Unsplash


Kirsty would miss the puffins most in the spring, when they mobbed the island with their monochrome waddling, their sad eyes settled on bobbles of pink thrift.

Nowhere smelt like the island – the air carrying only sea scents, the deeps and crashing shallows, weed and rot and salt, a smell you could taste, that covered you like a second skin.

‘Ready to go?’ Mum took her bag, walked the short pier to the ferry. ‘It’ll all be here, waiting for you when you come home,’ she called with a sad smile. Together, they took the ferry to the mainland.

Written for Three Line Tales. See here to join in and read others.

I saw this image and smiled. Recently, I wrote a story about a very similar island environment. It was a pleasure to revisit this rugged, salt tangy scene.

Right now that story is under consideration for publication. Fingers crossed, eh?





26 thoughts on “Three Line Tales : A second skin

  1. What a lovely story you’ve crafted, Lynn. It might have been written to illustrate ‘Parting is such sweet sorrow’ because although Kirsty is leaving the island, you tell us that she is coming back. You describe it in a way that makes me long to live there – although I think that in reality the harsh and hostile winters would drive me away quite quickly! The photo prompt is gorgeous, too, isn’t it?


    1. Thank you Penny. Yes, I think you’re right about the winters – too harsh by half. I have a friend whose family live on one of the Shetland islands and when she visits she packs heavy jumpers even in the summer. Brr! Thank you for the kind comments


    1. Ah, thank so much Dale. I adore the sea, though don’t get to see it as often as I’d like. And even though the UK doesn’t have hot, sandy beaches – more like windy/chilly/stony/slightly naff – I still love the scents, the sounds. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m far as well. I’ve the St.Lawrence River but we are far from where it spills into the Atlantic so only the scents are not quite the same πŸ˜‰


      2. We live near and estuary, a big tidal river that comes right into the city bringing hordes of gulls to our harbourside. So it’s easy to pretend we’re at the seaside. Lovely to live near water, whether sea, river or estuary

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Me too. I go with my dog to the river’s edge regularly and watch the ducks and other wildlife, listen to the gulls. And I take a bazillion pics of a stream that I call “my river” and can sit there and listen to the flow for hours…


  2. I felt similarly about Lundy when I visited a couple or so decades ago, somewhere I wanted to go back to, somewhere a day-long gallop around the perimeter wasn’t enough to absorb the scents, the textures, the wildlife, the atmosphere. Never seen puffins in the wild but that thrift that ubiquitous whenever we walked the Pembrokeshire coastal path. Lovely evocation, so nostalgia-inducing.


    1. I think you can see Lundy from Weston Super Mare front, which has been the easiest (if not the most glamorous) resort for us to get to from here. Would love to see puffins too and seals, dolphins … I grow thrift in the garden, which might be the closest I get


      1. I always think Clevedon is more quaintly attractive than its big brother, but having not visited for a good fifteen years at least I don’t know how much, if at all, it’s changed. But no, a distinct lack of puffins or seals in either resort, sadly.


      2. I love Clevedon too and when I last went a few years ago it was refreshingly untouched. Sadly, it’s not as interesting for small children as Weston, though even there, if you walk away from the Grand Pier, you find quieter, quainter spots.


  3. I could smell the sea and it’s companions; it all wafted along with your picture perfect story line.
    Loved it Lynn.


  4. I always admire anyone who can say so much in so few words. And it’s not even advertising copy! πŸ™‚ Although we don’t have puffins on the North Norfolk coast, the flowers, the sea-smells, the sounds of the sea, take me to there. Ironic, I live on that narrow peninsula of land between river and sea better known as Gt Yarmouth. In the summer our courtyard becomes a breeding colony for several species of gull. Yet I travel along the coast to get the true taste of the sea (absent the smells of candy floss and hot dogs and the noise of amusement archades)


    1. Thank you Crispina. I don’t know Yarmouth, though members of my family live in sudbury, Suffolk, so not a million miles away. Lovely part of the country. In Bristol of course, we’re near an estuary, not really seaside at all. But with our harbour and the painted terraced houses climbing the cliffs and being mobbed by gulls, we can pretend to be the seaside. Thank you so much for the kind comment. I’m trying to learn a bit about copy writing at the moment, so brevity is a good thing πŸ™‚


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