I slither down the muddy slope to have a closer look. The builders would have used the stones at hand, rough slates quarried not far away, local timber for purlins and rafters. A simple beaten earth floor. People whose livelihoods depended on the economic vagaries of the local estate. I clamber over the fallen lintel and go inside. There's no roof. The chimney gable has collapsed, the hearth fire is replaced by the haws' red glow ...
random seed-spit, opportunist quick,
this squatter has an assured tenure
Brambles and nettles are squatting too, and a scraggy elder bush. Ankle-twisting boulders are concealed by cushions of bright moss. I struggle to the back wall. There had been a lean-to scullery behind it. I stumble back to the entrance and stand at the threshold, looking out as the inhabitants must have done. They took care to make a path, bordered by two low stone walls, from the door to where a garden gate must have been and where an ash sapling now blocks the gap. The land falls away to the sea, the Skerries light, the Irish ferry.
November - when only a skin-thin membrane separates
past and present
Wandering round outside I see the remains of a pig-sty, a few stones which might have been the foundations of a corrugated iron ty bach. Looking at my phone pictures later I notice the faded blue flowers of a mop-cap hydrangea waving at what once was a small window - as if someone from the past has just called round to see who's home.