If you’re a sciencey person, or even if you’re not, I think it’s easy to get overwhelmed sometimes by the awesome majesty of the universe, or the beauty and complexity of the natural world.
I was reduced to an uncharacteristic silence on a cliff top earlier today, watching grey seals on a beach below. The beachmaster male sat at the very edge of the surf, guarding a harem of females and their quite grown-up pups.
We shared a spot on the fence with an old boy in a cap and driving coat. His wife shuffled slowly towards us from the car park.
“You’re not missing much,” he grumbled.
She stared down for a few moments, and concluded, “It’s much better on the telly”.
In a way, I admired them. It takes a certain amount of backbone to share a moment with a wild mammal, even at that distance, and remain unmoved. On the other hand, if Simon King had been there, I imagine he would have pushed them both off the edge.