I pushed an old woman into the sea today. Right off the pier she fell, tumbling like a disorganised brown paper bag in her overcoat. The little yappy dog she walked soon followed, drop-kicked far into the harbour, lead and all. The water soon soaked her camel-skin, dragging her under. Confused, and barely forming coherant words, she held out her arms as the tide dragged her under. I threw hand-shapes at her, like a man pilled off his tits at a rave in a warehouse, lost in techno trance. After she had finally disappeared beneath the calm sea, I left a note in a plastic bottle apologising for my actions and for the noise of the fucking dog, before hurling it into the harbour. With any luck it will reach Norway before January.
I’m lying of course. A complete fabrication. But there’s nothing like a provocative paragraph of questionable taste to open a blog entry.
This is a good time of year to explore the old seaside towns, or those that aspire to become one. So many small villages here are the product of a mine or quarry that has long since closed. Driving out on the moors or along the wee roads that branch from the main coast route, you can find yourself in villages that are little more than a row of terraced houses. Blink and you’ll miss 200 years of community, built around a non-sustainable industry out of romance and desperation. You can get a headache from the noise of echoes. Unlike in the south, no middle-class gentrification has dimmed these voices. The house called The Old Chapel with the unusually large living room window. The Old Mill now just a cottage next to a stream determined to dismantle itself like a rebellious teenager.
I apologise for the opening paragraph, but if you’ve made it this far it probably didn’t offend you anyway. You know me, your humble narrator, gentle and ineffective as a fart in a tornado. I wandered lonely as a hurled discus today, battling the winds in an oversized parka and carrying my camera – tripod and all – over one shoulder, looking for some magic. Lightning in a bottle, or even just a spark.
If I had a superpower, it would be the ability to transport to the location of everyone who has ever held my hand, or embraced me in a tight hug. When you are tucked away in a far corner of the country it is infinitely harder to be there when needed. Words are never enough, and they are certainly no substitute for eye contact or the flick of a smile…
…said The Writer.
I’m not sure why i took these photos today, just a slice of a 72 photo session. I slept late, having been terrified by dreams of spiders on my face. I got into my car and just drove along the coast road, stopping off at empty villages, listening to some Extremely Strange Music, walking into ghosts and echoes. I didn’t feel invincible today, just off-piste, like someone trying to ski down a set of stairs next to the main slope. Not an entirely unfamiliar feeling either. I don’t know why people come to me for advice. I don’t have anything sensible or stabilising to say.
Time for bed, J.