Walked this morning around Rye Harbour in Sussex, an expanse of pebbles, sea and sky, many different shades of grey, and green with accents of pink and red, and dotted with black coots and seagulls turning in the air. It was dry, phew, and very windy. An unusual place in that for once the sea is giving back. In Tudor times the coastline was much further inland. Now there are vast swathes of pebbly/gravely ground extending well over a mile. Its a desolate landscape full of leftover ephemera from its various uses over the years. Pill boxes from the wars, boats and buildings rotting, old posts sticking out of the ground. The only thing truly at home here are the sea birds and a few extremely hardy plants, seemingly able to grow on stones.
Walking into the wind felt just like moving through treacle, as if the air had substance, shape and consistency. It was fun for a little while and then became tiring, so that finally turning our backs to it and heading for home was a delight in itself. On one level I loved the wind on my face, the dramatic, open-skyed landscape, on another I was heartily relieved to get back to the car.
It’s much easier to persevere with something if you know there is an end to it. It is hard to keep going if you are not sure either when the end will be or what the end might look like, in and of itself.
We have to believe that COVID will lose its hold over us, I have to believe that Watching You Fall will begin to sell more copies, that book 2 will also gather momentum. That this part of my life, which so often feels like wading through custard will become more like the part of the walk with the wind at my back, and the car park in sight.