Didn't 'being barnacled' involve being keel hauled as a punishment in films like The Wake of the Red Witch? Watch out because it now is about to take on a whole new meaning.
I can predict right now that we can expect an increase in the lesser known (and rather voyeuristic) spectator sport of Barnacle Watching on beaches around the country this summer.Look out for clusters of people gathered around a rock and just quietly staring...and watching and waiting...for what?
I suspect when Bill Oddie moves onto BeachWatch there will be a live Barney-cam to record the moment, what moment?
Well that's for those of us who have read The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch to know and the rest of you to guess.Doesn't it make you want to slap people when they say that? Better still, read the book.
The nation will be reading it thanks to the Richard & Judy selection for our summer reading and I for one am delighted.To state the obvious it is the most perfect beach read and if you are not on a beach the book makes you feel as if you are,so it's a win win situation.
Miles O'Malley is one of those completely in tune with nature children whose knowledge far exceeds that of the average adult on his specialist subject.When the biggest squid arrives on his patch he knows exactly what it is. Fortunately he has no problem sharing, so as a reader expect to emerge at the other end of this book far more clued up than when you went in, unless you are a marine biologist that is.You'll probably hanker after a read of Rachel Carson too and will head off for a stroll around the rockpools with new eyes.
This is all finely balanced with a complete lack of knowledge as Miles struggles to solve the mysteries of adolescence against the backdrop of his parents problems and those of his wise but frail, elderly neighbour Florence.There is much in the world Miles knows nothing about and it is all beautifully contrasted. Jim Lynch captures certainty and uncertainty in equal measure.
Meanwhile prepare for Barnacle Watch coming to a beach near you soon, take my advice, not too close now, oh and a word of caution, don't pick up that sea cucumber, the consequences are messy.