It was only four nights away
but it felt like four weeks.
We followed the long road
unwinding like a ribbon,
wide then narrow,
east then west.
There were rivers and beaches,
flat grey marshes
and soaring red cliffs,
tidal waters and muddy creeks,
menacing military wilderness
and safe country retreats,
swans' wings beating low over the water,
kingfishers, red kites,
hares, yellow horned poppies,
fish leaping and pheasants squawking,
egrets and little terns,
house martins and swifts,
owls hooting across the Dart at dusk.
The photos show all this and more
hundreds of them, uploaded in an instant.
But there was something to be said
for having to wait for the film
to come back from the developers
in a fat yellow wallet.
It gave time for a holiday to settle;
allowing it to be retrieved after a week or so
as a proper memory.