Venturing out to the sea we took a different route from the town, winding through the secret alleyways and narrow streets trying to imagine we were in a different town altogether, not because there’s anything wrong with this one but because now for eight months it’s been the same town that we arrived in on the 29th of February. After our European dates, we couldn’t imagine we would be stationary for so long. We had tickets to New York on August 14th and we thought we would have the MOAT album out and be touring in the USA. Which reminds me, three weeks in and we are at 43%, so please go to our Indiegogo campaign site to secure your copy of Poison Stream, your Handwritten & Illustrated Lyric, or your Mystery Box. Perhaps a print or the first MOAT record (vinyl and CD in one) of which we have less than 40 left and then it’s gone. But as far as travelling, anybody who reads here knows we are trying to move to Portugal and it’s getting increasingly difficult to see how we can do it with countries going into lockdowns. We haven’t left the town limit since we arrived (Olivia went to Truro once). So fantasising about travelling, we meandered through the back streets trying to imagine that we had travelled to another place. On the way we walked past this brightly coloured gate, a house decorated in spiders and cobwebs for Halloween, a homeless woman devouring a pasty on a park bench and a lot of squawking crows that seem to take on more of an air of mystery in an autumn sky.
We walked through some muddy ground in Penlee Park and past the boat pond hoping to see the swans that are usually there but they were gone. When we reached the sea it was dusk, an earlier dusk than usual as the clocks went back last Sunday (this coming Sunday in the US). The sea was all churned up, it was green-grey, the tide was high, the foam sizzled on top of the waves and the pebbles on the beach rattled like a giant chest of jewels as the waves fell back into the sea. The wind was up but it was welcome as it swept oxygen into our lungs. In the bay, two tankers anchored, an array of lights picking them out as darkness fell. Also one small boat with one small light that was a little too far away to make out properly but it was probably a trawler. Also in the distance was the ominous silhouette of St. Michaels Mount, a castle, a stately home on a rock out in the sea, still occupied by the St Aubyn family who has been there since the 17th century. Open to the public in the summer months, winter swallows it up in mists and stormy seas, short days and sombre low clouds.
There was something about the light tonight, a dull glow as if the air was charged with another power. It was then that I remembered that Halloween is imminent and I could easily imagine childhood books coming to life with witches on broomsticks sailing across the sky and silhouetted against the moon, cackling and acting out their mischief, turning maidens into shrews and blacksmiths into pigs. At the greengrocer’s today just in front of the Brussels sprouts and next to the broccoli and beyond the carrots was a giant pumpkin waiting to be carved into a huge lantern and set on a porch for the weekend. In England in my childhood, we never thought about pumpkins as food, only as a symbol of Halloween and then I went to Australia where I discovered one of Australia’s greatest gastronomical delicacies that is available everywhere you go – pumpkin soup, mmmh.
In the swimming pool today (mile 26), I had the whole double lane to myself up to lap 56 and then with just 15 minutes to go before we had to stop a lady got in the water in my lane. It wasn’t a problem we were a length apart so we didn’t get in each other’s way but there is something really nice about having that lane all to yourself. In the next lane was a young girl, 13 or 14, when I had reached my 64 lengths I sunk down at the end of the pool and got my breath back and cooled down but I could not help but notice this natural swimmer executing the butterfly, effortlessly floating through the water. I was talking to Sam, one of the lifeguards, he told me she swims 32 lengths in 10 minutes, I swim 64 in 45 minutes.
Music today came from Deutsche Grammophon, the legendary classical music label. It arrived in the post today and as I mentioned yesterday I was looking for something to compete with Kev wacking the drums on his mega kit in the next room – this wasn’t it.
The album is called Songs From The Labyrinth (2006) and features Bosnian lutenist Edin Karamazov. The album is the music by composer and lutenist John Dowland (1563–1626). The album has instrumental, spoken word and songs sung by Gordon Sumner, you may have heard of him.
Trailer Of The Daze
What’s most fascinating is reading the comments of the purists that hate his interpretation. It’s not really about whether you like Sting or not, it’s cultures clash, other worlds cannot relate to each other. Like him or not, it’s surprising to hear these people refer to him as a terrible singer. I wonder how an essay about AC/DC might read written by these people? If they think Sting can’t sing I wonder what they’d make of Nick Cave.