Shine a Light


I love lighthouses – their structure, their purpose, their form, the romanticism. I’m also fascinated by the very type of person which would have coped with the job of lighthouse keeper.

A few years ago – whilst in the midst of an unhappy job – I did one of those ‘best fit for a career’ tests and my ideal job came out as a lighthouse keeper! In hindsight, as someone who is rather claustrophobic and who can’t swim, it probably wouldn’t have been a good fit.

I took this photo last Summer as the late evening sun was streaming in through the window, casting a wonderful golden light onto my tin model lighthouse – thereby creating a strong shadow on the wooden cabinet behind.

I was reminded of this image as I’m currently re-reading Peter Hill’s ‘Stargazing’ – the real-life story of a young hippy student in the 70s who fancied the idea of working as a lighthouse keeper. It’s even more of a joy to read second time around.

For any other lighthouse-obsessed people out there, I would also recommend Tony Parker’s ‘Lighthouse’. Although I was mildly disappointed that the real-life stories of lighthouse keepers was a composite picture of many stories, it is one of the best books I’ve ever read and reveals lots about the ups and downs of this type of solitary work.

20 thoughts on “Shine a Light

    1. Thanks for your positive comments, Adrian. I looked at this one a couple of times with the intention to post but withdrew. Today it seemed apt.

      Yes – my love for the idealistic lighthouse way of being and living – hence my blog name.

      So – another non-swimmer. There can’t be many of us. In a future post I may draw on my experiences of learning to swim – although it still seems so painful. We ought to create a society of stubborn non-swimmers. Humorous acronyms welcome ๐Ÿ™‚ (Hope I’ve spelled that lot correctly ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ).


      1. Oh I see – The Lantern Room, well well, I would never have guessed that. You are an interesting person. Yes, that’s how you spell “that lot” alright but please don’t call me Correctly! >>> I’m a fan of things like the film Airplane – which hopefully explains that lapse… >>> “A hospital? What is it?!” >>> just love that stuff!


  1. Love the photo. The model makes a great shadow. I was wondering how you managed to be far enough up to catch that angle on a real lighthouse. Standing on a clifftop in the dark with a helicopter behind you providing the floodlight maybe. ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. Yes, I’ve thought about that as a career also. But….. while I can swim, it’s not sufficient to be proficient ๐Ÿ™‚
    Great image!


  3. Lovely with the shadow there M . haven’t read either of those books but will lookout (!) for them . Do love listening to the Shipping forecast tho’ …. Cromarty, German Bight ๐Ÿ˜ฎ , Dogger, Forties … variable 4 occasional 5 moderate to rough …..
    No great swimmer here either ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


    1. I really recommend both books – wonderfully written. Ah, yes: the Shipping forecast; haven’t listened to that in years. Wonderfully soothing!

      Right, I’ll add your name to the non-swimmers society ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. I love the idea of being a lighthouse keeper. But a few years ago I promised my daughter I’d take her up Southwold lighthouse in Suffolk – something I’d been wanting to do for years. We got about 20 feet up and I got a horrendous attack of vertigo and just couldn’t go any higher, much to my daughter’s 6 year old incomprehension. Fortunately the rest of the group took her up so she got to see the view from the top.

    Maybe it’s not the job for me after all!


    1. Oh, I’d love to see Southwold lighthouse. I love the way it seems to sit amidst semi-detatched houses ๐Ÿ™‚

      I totally empathise with your attack of vertigo. I also suffer (something else to add to the problems of being a lighthouse keeper ๐Ÿ™‚ ). It’s strange that it first appeared when my children were small. I’ve discussed this with other mothers who have said the same. It’s as if in looking out for our offspring some kind of protective maternal / paternal instinct kicks in.


      1. That is interesting, my wussiness is pure self preservation, not at all altruistic ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Southwold lighthouse is lovely and it is, as you say, nestled amongst houses – and the Sole Bay Inn – home to the best pint of Adnams to be found anywhere!


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