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Bardsey Island Observational Research Project

2013 Early Summer

On our trip to Bardsey this year we were joined by Adrian. He’d visited the island before but only overnight. Being away from work and phone signal and electricity and the internet is a BIG thing for him to sign up for. Of course we were armed to the teeth with power packs and solar chargers, so we would still be able to charge iPhones and iPads and Kindles. So not exactly the low tech trip of previous visits.

The kids found it harder to tear themselves away from their lives this trip. They didn’t venture out to meet up with others as much. They didn’t attend the art classes as they had on previous visits. They seemed more concerned with maintaining their home routines of dancing practice, fitness and vocal warm ups.

2013 pt 1 Meals

Adrian and I had a great time. He really fell into the freedom of the island life. He took photographs, he read, we walked and talked, he emptied the toilet bucket (most welcome!) and he sat with me watching the seals in awed silence.

My visit to the island was different to my trip in 2012. It was better because we were all together but it was profoundly different because I wasn’t alone and in my own space and my time wasn’t quite as much my own. But we had good times together. We took a lot of photographs.

We also messed around a lot more than on previous trips. We took silly panorama photos, taking turns to stand at one end of the picture and then running around behind the photographer to appear at the other end. I spent a lot of time looking through my jeweller’s loupe magnifying glass, enlarging the microcosmic worlds inside of flowers and rocks to the size of great canyons and vistas before me, populated with giant greenflies and aphids. I studied the eyes of snails and the patterns on their shells. I took photos of lichens and buttercups with my iPhone through the loupe lens.

It was wonderful. Doing nothing. I spent my evenings doodling and doing watercolors. I drew alien lifeforms on my iPad and morphed pictures of the children into strange creatures. It was all so different from the more spiritual journey of last year. But it was still Bardsey – a wonderful warm adventure. A sort of coming home.

2013 pt 1 Bardsey main street

Leaving Bardsey was very very different though. Mostly this was because we knew we would be coming back again at the end of the summer. Adrian was hooked. He wanted to come back and what’s more he wanted a two week stay. As we boarded the boat I had a sneaking suspicion we would be coming back alone. The kids had missed their friends and YouTube and technology so much but two whole weeks will undoubtedly be too much for them.

We shall see!!

2013 Hendy

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