In early September, I took a week's holiday on the beautiful Isle of Anglesey, just off the North Wales coast. It's a place which holds very fond memories for me. I visited Anglesey on family summer holidays pretty much every year of my life from a tiny toddler to my late teens. But this was the first time I had been back there in many years. I am glad and relieved to report that the place has changed very little at all.
I stayed in a caravan on the same farm that my family and I used to visit, with magnificent views over the Irish Sea. Every morning before breakfast, I would walk down to the rocky headland and sit on the same rock I used to fish off all those years ago. Most mornings, I stayed there for at least an hour, gazing out to sea. It is an extremely tranquil place.
It was during these daily sessions sitting on my rock that I rediscovered the delights of what I shall henceforth refer to as nature waiting. Nature waiting involves finding a nice spot, sitting down quietly, and waiting for nature to appear. It's a bit like nature watching, but more passive: you don't go looking for nature; you wait for nature to come to you.
I had some spectacular luck nature waiting on my Anglesey rock. I saw razorbills and gannets by the dozen—both never seen by me at this particular place before. One morning, I was even lucky enough to spot a dolphin rounding the nearby headland, followed a couple of minutes later by two more. Then, a few days later, a curious grey seal spotted me on my rock and decided to come over to investigate:
It really was a very special holiday, made even more special by my rediscovery of the art of nature waiting. It is an art I hope to spend considerably more time practising in future.