Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Tiny Beach Cottage


We went to the beach and looked into the clear water. I saw a barnacled oyster and some slow moving aquatic snails. My son took off his shoes and stepped into the frosty cold New England waters! Brrrrr! I probably won't be doing that until the end of June.


Look at his toes. They don't seem to agree to go into the water with his feet.


Then he played gravel factory for a long time. Here is the the gravel factory's fine product, below.


While he was doing that I built a little stone house on the beach.


I was thinking about one of my favorite children's books while I built it. Have you read "The Secret of Ron Mor Skerry" by Rosalie K. Fry? It was made into a wonderful movie by John Sayles, "The Secret of Roan Inish". Try to get an old copy of the book from the library, the original illustrations are really special.


In some of my favorite scenes, Fiona and her cousin Rory (Eamon in the movie) fix up the stone cottages which the family abandoned on the island when they moved away a few years back.


They scrub the windows, sweep and wash the floors, fix the broken roofs and thatch them with reeds, whitewash, cut peat, start a garden, and gather bits of furniture to fill Grandmother's house. The children want to move back to the island with their grandparents. That's the only way they can get little Jamie to come home.


Jamie is Fiona's baby brother. He was kidnapped by the seals and seagulls when the family left the island, and people say that he is still alive and that he sails the sea about the island in his little cradle boat.


Listen to what happens when the children start to work on the cottages.

"They had not been long at work before a shadow moved across the bay and a sleek, dark head broke the surface of the water and turned toward the shore. A few minutes later a second head appeared and then a third and a fourth, and as though in reply to a secret summons, the bay became suddenly crowded with seals. They remained in the deep green water offshore with little more than their eyes above the water, silently watching everything that Fiona and Rory were doing."

For another idea for a way to build cottages on the beach, see "Make a Driftwood Cottage" in the column to the right.

17 comments:

Beth said...

Still love that movie even now as an adult. Can't wait for my kids to be old enough to enjoy it!

Phyllis said...

I love how you tied in the book and the play. That is when life is at its best.
-Phyllis

Prettydreamer said...

We love the story of Roan Inish!! ... and those selkies (I hope my spelling isn't horrible) ... such a wonderful story of longing. Fiona and Eamon do such fine work on the cottage... so very fun to watch.

what fine work your children were doing an a sunny spring New England morning!:)

love, Pamela

T said...

Hi Beth... how wonderful, your stone cottage. I'd like to live there!
Have I told you recently how much I love your blog? I do!!
Blessings and magic,
Donni

Childhood said...

I'll have to check out that book---it seems familiar to me though! Love your photos and description of the story!

The Magic Onions said...

Oops, Beth... that was me!

FairiesNest said...

I love that book and the movie was really special. It's unfortunate that the older book is out of print, I agree that the illustrations are wonderful.

Beth said...

Oh, I do love that book and movie. They are different experiences, though. I love the simplicity of the children's book. But I also enjoy the layers of Irish Myth and storytelling which John Sayles added to the movie. Thinking about it makes me want to watch it again right now! love, Beth

Amanda said...

the book sounds lovely! I also need to make a stone cottage. Just as soon as I am in a place with rocks, I will. I will.

*Michelle* said...

Looked for the original book... it's available, but $200 and up! I guess we'll be happy with the movie tie in. I, too, am looking forward to my kids moving beyond Berenstain Bears. I'll add this one to my list of "someday soons." Thanks!

softearthart said...

I have seen the movie,and enjoyed it, I think sometimes when you see the visual,it can linger, both words and visual are important. a lovely wee stone house. cheers Marie

Montessori Beginnings said...

I just found your blog via The Magic Onions and am really enjoying all of your how to posts. I can't wait to try some of them out!

Jessica said...

Such neat photos--and brrrrr, I can't imagine how cold that water must have been!

Appleshoe said...

Beth you take such wonderful pictures. I love to read your blog. Thank you for sharing your talent with blog land. I must check out this book :)

Beth said...

Michelle! $200 for the original book? Eek! I'd try the library. We were able to find it there. Marie..it is fun to see both a movie and read a book. I saw the movie first, because I didn't even know about the book. The visuals do linger. It is an amazing, haunting movie! I usually try to have the children experience a book first so that they can create pictures in their own minds. Welcome to Acorn Pies, Montessori Beginnings! Thank you everyone for visiting and commenting! love, Beth

Gabriele said...

as always, your story devellopes so beautiful! You are so amazing in weaving dense stories. Will go to bed now and will see what I will dream, thanks for a goodnight story!

woolies said...

Love your stone cottage. And envious of you on the beach.
Signed,
LandLocked