We stood at Pendennis Point on the jagged rocks, the rain like sea-spray, watching the water swell and roll, debating whether or not to go in. I think our minds were made up as soon as we saw the sea, but we played with the possibility for five minutes or so – not because of any dare-devilish tendencies or macho pride, but merely out of disappointment.
Instead of throwing ourselves into the waves, we went to the old keep and talked about fatherhood.
Went to the Meat Counter and had the best burger I’ve ever eaten. Wolfed it and washed it down with a pint of Harbour pilsner. Resolved myself to eat one a week when I’m working and can afford it.
I hardly ever eat meat; I’m allowed one weekly treat.
I switch on the CD player. Jamiroquai comes on, and for a moment I’m confused, and then I feel a little pang as I realise it must’ve been Laurence, yesterday, as we drove him to the station.
Our goodbye was rushed, the train due to leave any minute. He leant through the front passenger side and we hugged, and then he ran off up the platform as I pulled away.
I turn left onto Western Promenade Road, drive past the Jubilee Pool, and there, as I round the bend, I see St. Michael’s Mount.
‘Have you been to Penzance, yet?’ My nan would always ask. ‘Have you seen St. Michael’s Mount?’
My answer was always the same.
And now, finally, here I am, looking out over the sparkling sea at St. Michael’s Mount, cut off by high tide, the chapel cresting the peak.
I feel my throat close and my vision goes soft-focus, like a lens misted with sea-spray.
I blink and focus on the road ahead.
I drove back from Hayle with a difficult decision to make, but a weekend to mull it over.
Paddy and I stand at Pendennis Point, on the jagged rocks, the sun a burning orange globe sinking in the distance.
The sea is movement and colour. Deep steel-blue purple pink orange flashing white. The lapping waves with their sharp peaks look like an impossible mountain range, falling and reforming over aeons. I feel that familiar sense of insignificance that I often have when faced with the sea. I consider having a cigarette. I change my mind. I remain smoke-free.
Reclined on the sofa with Audrey asleep in my arms, trying to dislodge raspberry seeds from between my teeth (roughing up the tip of my tongue) and reading Any Human Heart by William Boyd. This book belonged to my nan.
It is the epistolary form of the novel that has moved me to write this post (as always, reading inspires writing).
I have been neglecting my blog. I have forgotten what it is for – but this week has reminded me.
I have made my decision. In fact, I made it on Friday evening, but these two nights have allowed time for it to sink and settle in as a certainty, rather than it just floating around with the other options.
At my desk, I finish writing this post. Beside me the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám lies open – my nan’s copy from 1945; Has anyone even read this? – our yearbook anthology; a pocked lump of temerite serpentine from Kynance Cove, black and white and red; beer mats, books, other artefacts.
My partner comes in and rests her head on my shoulder. It’s time to leave this world of words, I have things to do.