Fresh from the beach where I went to have another look at the whale. "Fresh" may not be exactly the right word. "Eeeeeurgh" may be more the word I'm looking for. Let's say it's not what a visiting caravaner would put on his "Must See" itinerary just under red squirrels.
There's something about a whale. What is it? That they're a mammal? That they float deep and quietsome in the dark? That they make really bad music? There's a connection which makes seeing one of them out of its element - not to mention very dead - distressing. To reach the whale, you walk past a quarantine notice complete with skull which never bodes well does it? Yesterday morning, you might have almost hoped that it was moving as the sea lifted its tail with the churn of the waves. Today, the tide has brought the whale off the rocks and inshore, flipping its sad and massive body which is mottled with blood. The sea-water pooled in the sands around is bright red, and the smell retch-inducing - not helped by the fact officials have sawn off its lower jaw and extracted its upper teeth. They've done this because souvenir hunters were caught by coastguards in the early hours. The reports say they were souvenir hunters - perhaps they were just really unlucky tooth fairies. "What job have you got?" "That cutie-pie with the curly blonde hair asleep over there on the pink Princess pillow. What's yours?" "I've got that 25 tonne rotting whale carcass on the Northumberland coast. Swapsies?"