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Aug 28, 2019

 

                              

 

 

Imagine being in a tiny, coastal(1) village in Scotland in the summer. The air here is pure: a mix of ocean and forest smells, as the village is sandwiched between both. The area of Dumfries and Galloway, in the South West, has intense sunlight during this season, even though there is intermittent rain and a fair amount of wind. It's when the wind stops, you feel the warmth of the sun, and everything around you glows: the forests and fields, the oh so blue sky, and the colorful houses that sit in a happy row, taking in(2) the view. As you walk along the main road, you go past a couple of hotels and tea shops on your left, a gift shop with local art, and holiday homes, of course. There is a bus stop, then the road narrows(3) to a single track that winds along the coast, with pretty hedges and private drives all the way. You see a glow of yellow coming from your right, through the vegetation. As you investigate and move a little closer, you realize that the color is coming from a very unusual beach: Cockleshell Beach. There is no sand here, and not many rocks. What you do have is shells everywhere, meters thick. They reflect the sun, and beam up a warm yellow-white light. You dig down to see just how far the shells go, but there is no end to them. And they all look like brothers and sisters, all Cockleshells. What adds to this unusual place is how clean it is; it's spotless actually. And being such a small village, about half an hour from any major town, the  visitors are minimal, and most of those are on the water in boats. You could get inside a sleeping bag and have an incredible night's sleep, with the stars above you, the shells beneath, the sound of the sea lapping on the shore, and the clean breeze surrounding you. I'm not sure if that would be allowed; humans do tend to make things messy after all. But if it were allowed, it would be a quiet and nature-filled experience not to be forgotten.

1. 'Coastal' means of the coast.

a. The coastal breeze is constant; it doesn't stop very often.

b. The houses in coastal areas in Scotland must be strong, as they take strong coastal winds and salty air all year.

2. 'To take in' is used in English when we talk about looking at, observing, and absorbing the view, or something we are looking at.

a. We sat on the beach and took in the view.

b. As they walked through the museum, they took in all the historical works of art.

3. 'To narrow' is a great example of an adjective being used as a verb.

a. Her eyes narrowed into a squint; uh-oh, she knew what I was up to.

b. The hallway narrowed and got darker; we wondered what was in the room at the very end.