Large passenger ships are visible cruising along the Solent eastward to port in Southampton and west bound for destinations unknown to me. I did not recognise the ship in the early hours of May 2nd, but Oceania headed past on May 5th at 17.07. My own ship came in when I began living in the Egg eleven months ago. Stephen Payne, designer of the Queen Mary 2, also calculated the displacement of the Exbury Egg; so he is responsible for the world’s largest liner as well as having a hand in its largest floating Egg.
Land argues with the risen tide all about its borders. Delicate sea pink threatened by the advances of grey brine on a cold May day.
Soon after dawn the rising tide crept in and lifted the Egg from its muddy berth. Overhead the sky had a wet greyness that soon began to splash light rain onto the water surface and disturbed the reflected blackthorn, bare on branch. On these changing marshy margins, the birds of both land and sea began to call and sing. From the threshold of the Egg’s eastern facing door, I grasped a fleeting two minutes and forty seven seconds of the mise-en-scène.
There are a few great spotted woodpeckers at work in the vicinity of the Egg. They seek out suitable hollowed trees to use as sound posts to mark out their territory. My own efforts are at about half speed and a bit low in tone to pose much of a threat to the locals.
The northern edges of the sinewy outer bank I call Snake Island, were rich in strands of unravelled polyester rope of many bright colours, twisted around the branches of tamarisk bushes and out across the river bed; little reminders of our poor and tangled relationship with all things natural. All being well, the pink flush of the tamarisk blossom will add its own distinctive hue to the scene in just a few weeks time.