Friday 14 September 2012

By the sea

I know! -  Jack Johnson, Genesis, and hundreds of others have written that line a million times with enough romance to make Chaucer himself sneer.
Certainly to me, having grown up in the dead-centre of England – no pun intended - the big blue wobbly skyline was always a million light-years from my daily life. Now and again we would get to go there on holiday, to mix with the grockles and sniff it’s smells, maybe with lobster or ice cream – or both.
But it was never real – not to me anyway. A place you went to, and then went home again to your daily truth. Just a blip on your weekly, yearly, whole-lifely existence.
But what if you liked it so much you wanted to stay?
Could you?
Does the big ocean hold enough interest to entertain you for more than a few weeks?
What do people do who live there?
These – and many more questions – have been nagging me for, ooo, a long time now. Because every time I see that giant blue horizon, something inside me jumps, and when I leave it, that same little something stays behind, sitting in the shadows and waiting for me to return.
Tonight I am there again.
A pretty little town, down near the French-Spanish border, in an apartment looking out on to the Atlantic. Madam and the dogs are asleep, and all of them seem exhausted. Me too - the big sea does that to you.
.But what else does it do - to your soul?
For a while now, I have felt the brine calling me and, for a similar time, I have been looking for where we could find some common ground.
Possibly, in this buzzing little town, called St Jean De Luz, we have met, that ocean and I. And I am getting a fluttering feeling inside.
You carry on buzzing awhile - for it is yours to do - doing your daily stuff that is wanton for your tourists. Perhaps, for a few days, I want to watch you with patience.
There’s a chance, maybe in the blinking phare of my mind’s eye, I could see myself being right here for longer than a holiday but – shhh - I don’t dare to tell.
Good-God – a farmer from inland living on the coast?
In the sun?
Wash your drizzled brain out with salt water and Rioja from the near-hills.!

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