Few writers I know address the meaning of place better than Adam Nicolson, particularly in terms of rootedness or attraction to specific places and landscapes.   In Sea Room he explores his own passionate attachment to three outwardly barren, uninhabited and even uninviting islands in the North Sea, which he happens to have inherited from his father, while also putting them, and their former inhabitants, on a bigger mental map.

I liked his way of describing how they have entered his being, like a stain colouring water or cloth.  Read the full quotation and think about any places that have entered you in the same way (and feel free to drop me a line and let me know).

‘I have felt at times, and perhaps this is a kind of delerium, no gap between me and the place. I have absorbed it and been absorbed by it, as if I have had no existence apart from it. I have been shaped by those island times, and find it difficult now to achieve any kind of distance from them.  The place has entered me.  It has coloured my life like a stain.’

See also the quote rich mosaic review of this magnificent, entrancing book: a love letter to islands and a paean to the sea. 


Source: Adam Nicolson, Sea Room: An Island Life (London: Harper Collins, 2013 (2002)), p. 3

Photo credit: the3cats at pixabay.com


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