The light's on, but nobody's home…

In Waiting for Chicken Smith, there's a lighthouse on the headland near where the boys' holiday cabins are. No one lives in the lighthouse but at one time there was probably someone living there ensuring the light went on and off when required.

 From  Waiting for Chicken Smith  © David Mackintosh.

From Waiting for Chicken Smith © David Mackintosh.

The lighthouse I was thinking of when I wrote the story had an automatic light. There was a heavy wooden door that once opened every day to let the lighthouse keeper into the light and my friend carved his initials in this door. Even after years of fresh paint on the door, the initials were visible (if just barely). The last time I went up there, the initials were just a figment of my memory. The old wooden door had gone – with its initials – and a metal version stood in its place. But the view to the east hadn't changed one iota.

 The Fingal Head lighthouse (Photo by H. Cutts).

The Fingal Head lighthouse (Photo by H. Cutts).