The Humble Bunny

Rabbit holes were always one of the biggest risks of walking those dunes and I remembered seeing rabbits just about everywhere. This time – not a rabbit! The reason? Stoats. Some well meaninged organisation introduced stoats to keep down on the rabbit population. Now there are no rabbits and the stoats are attacking ground nesting birds and taking poultry. Oh dear!

Piri Piri Burrs

Native to New Zealand Piri Piri is now on the island’s dunes and one is requested to check one’s clothing and shoes to prevent this pernicious weed form spreading to the mainland. But cars, coaches, bicycles come over all the time. I suppose we live in hope.

People

There used to be about 2,000 islanders. Now there are about 150 people living permenantly on the island. Affordable housing has been one factor driving young people off. My friend sold some land behind the house and has now two houses in what used to be her garden in order to allow native island falmilies to stay there at affordable rents.

But another factor is that unless you can work freelance as a writer, accountant…whatever or own a business on the island, it’s impossible to match any occupation to the tide times.  There used to be many more pubs and cafes on the island than there are now and I think more guest-houses too.

But one cafe we went into didn’t have anything but cake and scones after 2pm – what she perceived to be lunchtime. Well, we’d just walked round the entire island and my stomach thought it was lunchtime at 2:45! Ridiculous. A blackbird was coming in and scrounging round the tables – I hope it found more than we did! All she had to do was give another person part time employment clearing dishes and she could have made us a sandwich. I really find that attitude appalling. Either run a business for the customer or get out is what I say! We got out. Went to a place where they weren’t so bleeding lazy and the decor was plain and we ate some good soup.

I can reccommend the Crown and Anchor for a good evening meal. They have an extensive menu and good service and lovely desserts – next time I’m leaving room for hot ginger pudding and custard! But the saffron and cardamom icecream is a dream… You need to book.

Crab and Lobster

Holy Island was famous for its crab snadwiches – I say was. You can still buy them off a van at the seafront and you can still get them lunchtime. Hang it all the jetty is covered in lobter pots but – Dorothy tells us that the fishermen can get a better price for seafood by selling it on the mainland. Most of the crab and lobster from British waters go to Spain where Brits go and eat Paella whereas at home they don’t eat much fish at all… It’s a sad irony. Another is that all the catch from the island has to go and be weighed properly for E.U.quotas on the mainland and if islanders want fish they have to go buy it in the supermarkets like we do on the mainland. (We used to have a good fishmonger in Morpeth – Gone!) Mind you I am as guilty of not eating fish as anyone else – but I do FEEL guilty about it 😦 Reminds me I have two nice trout in the freezer and Dorothy gave me 3lb goosegogs that I must top and tail if they are ever to become jam.

Next post… The Priory