Dressing Gowns and Swiss Roll

We drove right passed it, easily done, tucked away as it was behind a Shell garage. Drawing up to the front eventually, we were faced by a raggedy collection of smokers outside the reception, one a double-amputee with no legs, and wearing a Man United football shirt, was perched on a wheelchair. It shouldn’t have done but it brought me down. They’re only people, I kept saying to myself, smile, be warm. We greeted them and went in.

I’d prepared myself for it and it didn’t disappoint. A badly-lit room, a little shabby and very basic. I’m tired, it will be alright in the morning. It wasn’t really, not really.

I didn’t walk to Hayle, having to manage that roundabout was too daunting so I walked to Connor Downs instead. The first morning it was later and becoming day but the second was dark. The bird song was gorgeous. I forgot how nearly-rural it was out there. There was a man smoking outside the front door as I walked out the first morning, wearing a black and white spotted fluffy dressing gown with a heavy silver chain hanging deep into his bare chest. Nice dressing gown, I said. He smiled. It’s me missus’s, he said, his voice gruff with nicotine, it’s warmer. Another smoker stood outside as we returned in the evening. Nice motor, he said, grinning and revealing a mouth devoid of teeth. I chatted with him as he parked. I’ve put some cake and tangerines in reception, he said, help yourself. He then went on to explain in a fast, bullet-like voice, how he was homeless and waiting to go into a wet house in Falmouth and that they’d (the hotel) was giving him a room till then. Free? I thought, surely not. Anyway the cake and tangerines (or mandarins, he said) was his way of thanking them. There’s only two slices of Swiss roll left, he said, so you better hurry. He’d been dry for six years since losing his girlfriend. Eighteen years we were together, he said, an’ she was eighteen years older than me. He showed me a tattoo of her name on his neck. He then went on to talk about what they get up in the wet houses, using expressions like ‘tootin’. God alone knows what he was talking about. He tipped his cardboard cup towards me. Cranberry juice and vodka, he said. I thought he was ‘dry’. Perhaps vodka doesn’t count. As we left the next day the no-legged man was smoking outside again. I watched as he finished one only to start rolling another. Why not? What the hell, eh? The skin on his face was wafer thin, hard, bitter. Do you think he was a squaddie in Afghanistan? I asked him as we drove off. No, more like a diabetic, he said.

We won’t go again.

There is much more to say. There always is. All the bliss in-between the dinginess. And there was much. The warmth of friendship. And holding her, that little potent body. And that light. The sun coming in through the window. The turquoise sea. And my other love, just being next to her.

We will go there again. Again and again. Please.

White Sage

I thought at first that she was lighting a roll-up. It looked like one. That thin roll of paper-wrapped tobacco with a twist at one end. But no, it was sage. It’s white sage, she said, I get it over the internet. And then she showed me one. It was a leaf, grey-white, dried and hard. You just burn it, she said, lighting the end, and waft it about the room. I’ve grown accustomed to the smell. It’s quite pungent at first. Is it about cleansing? I ask. It purifies, she says. And yet it is such a rum, earthy, grassy almost salty kind of smell.

Nature’s perfumes are not ours. Though I love them all, both hers and ours. They threaten to rid the world of sprays, of atomisers. I understand the planet has to be saved, though I suspect it is we that are in danger not her. She will regenerate. We perhaps will not. If they do I will miss the perfumes. I love beautiful smells (though their beauty I own is subjective), associative smells. The coffee I put in the jug long before necessary because I want the kitchen to smell of it. The bread smells from the bakeries in town as I walk by. This morning the air by Pier Pressure smelt of marshmallows and toffee apples. Usually it is fried chicken.

Shall we cross the road? I suggested.

I didn’t want to talk. I wanted to go home. I’d been unravelled, I felt timorous, unsteady, unsafe. I didn’t want to talk.

She saw us. He saw us. She was all smiles. The two of them with their shared first initials. She has shrunk, gone thin. He looks the same, always with that hat on, no matter the weather. Both have sticks now. She seemed pleased to see us. And looking so fit, she said, grasping my upper arm. He kissed her cheek and I felt moved to do the same. A wave of compassion for her swept over me. She has to manage so much. I haven’t been well, she said, I had to go into hospital. Who looked after him? I wanted to ask. He is losing his memory. He walks and manages to get home again but they are going, his wits are going. He’s forgotten you, she said. We smile and he smiles. Is he used to her upfront-ness? She keeps it together, clearly. She used to be his secretary, I believe and him a once eminent physician. What’s it all about? All that respect, all that reverence and importance, gone. Now he’s just another old man wandering about town. She holds it together, just but the strain is beginning to show. They used to have a big house, now they live in a tiny cupboard of a flat, just like we used to have. We’re still looking, she says. But I suspect there isn’t the will, the energy to move again. I’m glad we stopped and sorry for my initial reluctance. If I open I am rewarded, that is clear.

We sat in the sun on a bench on North Road and talked. I need to make some physical representations of my jury. My imagined jury. I could get some Russian Dolls and affix photos of their faces, or finger puppets. I need to see them, engage with them. Hear their judgements. Which are my judgements put in their mouths. He is so good, so patient. I look for boredom, for irritation but it is not there, not really. He wants to help and he does, he does.

I sigh at the thought of the journey, the not so glamourous hotel. It will be fine. No word from her, so I must just trust. Can I do that?

The sky is misty. Seagulls are flying through it in the distance. All are still abed. Onward. Much to do. Much to do.

Painting by numbers

It’s going to be a beautiful day. The sky was clear when I walked. A sky full of stars. And a town full of youngsters, drunk and reeling. Mostly girls. One in a strapless top, leggings and high heels and falling off the pavement. She giggled, her male friend scooping her up. I’m so pissed, she said, threatening to fall again.

What a different experience we have of it, those kids and me. I so lost in my thoughts, and they so lost in the fug of alcohol. The air smelt heavenly, a perfumed woody, smoky smell. A mist hung over the sea. No Aberdovey, no Aberaeron. And no homeless man on the bench. Aretha Franklin’s Respect was blasting out of the Pier Pressure night club’s doors. I sang along as I walked. I’m going to give you all of my money, all I’m asking for is….

I lay in bed last night and thought about Painting by Numbers kits and how I loved them as a child. Well, not loved them. I found them exasperating. I wanted to keep them so neat. I wanted to not go over the lines and yet the paint they supplied with them was so runny. Is it a crisis, this? Am I unravelling? It feels like it at times. I don’t know what I am about. Truly, I don’t. All this questioning. All this searching for the one answer. Perhaps there isn’t one. Shall I go back? Is that a way through? To take myself back to that point? Shall I do a Paint by Numbers kit? Follow those tramlines of ordered, managed creativity and see where it takes me? I don’t know what I am about. I try to catch at ideas that burst into my head continually. What about that? Or that? A short story where he talked about a wish that is granted if you make 1,000 paper cranes. Shall I? Why not? It is as good as any thing else I might do. Is this a crisis? Is this an artist’s block? Am I blocked or am I just exploring the gap, the space in between?

Needle painting. I’d never heard of it. Isn’t it what I am doing with the Sunflowers. Copying, I’ve always been fascinated by coping. Is it about confidence? Learning by imitation. Is it for those who doubt their own ability to come up with something new? Is there ever anything new? Following the tracks. The ease of it. The supposed ease of it. For it isn’t often easy. Mary Linwood was the exemplar of needle painting. Look her up. Now forgotten, she was lauded in her day. What accomplishment. What feminine accomplishment. So tidy, so un-messy. No paint-splattered dungarees for her. Bet she never pissed in the fire place like he did.

Is it OK to not know? To be in the dark. In the light. In the gap. Lost in the gap. Mind the gap. Write it out, he says. Write it out.

The birds are having a field day, she would’ve said. They’re giving it the gun, he’d say. Nice that. We live on in our sayings.

I should coco. x

Blue Smoke

The bluebells are late flowering this year. He is reading from The Times’s Nature’s Diary column. Banks of them along the woodland floor will look like blue smoke. Blue smoke, what a lovely image. And I can see it. I long to go to the woods. The woods on a sunny day where the light is dappled. I love bluebells. The colour of them is a wonder. We pass so many woods in the car on our trips. Let’s stop, I yearn to say, let’s stop the car and walk a bit.

Outside the mist is slowly lifting. It was coming from the sea when I walked this morning. I could see it, also like a smoke, lit up by the streetlights. A wet, moving fog coming inland, covering all in its blanket of haze. I like it. I like the enclosing sensation it gives.

The warm nights encourage people out onto the beach and the Prom. Wandering souls. I heard a group of them on the beach by South Marine Terrace.A dog barked and I saw the smoke from their fire. I love that smell. Warm, slightly damp wood smoke. I am glad for them that the nights are getting warmer. I’m glad for the man who sleeps under the castle on that bench. Yesterday morning he was sitting up. Do I greet him? Does he prefer silence? I silently nod to him as I stride past. Good morning, I hope you got some rest.

They’ve cleared some of the Prom of its debris but the middle section is still strewn with sand.

We talked about work. What the word work means. It is always good to talk to him. He gives me his whole attention. He is patient, interested. I couldn’t ask for more. We talked over coffee, sitting in the sun, waiting till I had to leave to walk up the hill to work. What is work? Why attach such worthiness to it? She works so hard. Oh, she’s a hard-worker. I’ve never worked so hard in my life. Such worthiness. But is it always so? Why do we work? For money, obviously but there is more. A sense of self? Status? A way of filling time. Of finding meaning. And yet is that is all there is. How empty. It can’t be all. Though there has been times when I’ve wanted it to be so. Perhaps you could call it different things, he said. A good idea. It isn’t all the same. What I do up at the studio is a means to end but what I do in my studio is far more than that. And yet, I do many things in my studio, writing as well as making. Isn’t it marvellous that you have time to think about it all? he said. Yes, though I have to bite my tongue. I know, I wanted to say snappishly, I know how lucky I am. And yet there is still some sorrow, isn’t there? Having to look at it, to go through the bones of it is not easy. I see the patterns now. The grooves I so easily fall into. But the space left by the letting go of such habits is a fearful one. So empty. So new. What do I do with it?

Give it time. Cogitate on it. It will all come right, said the man with the Siamese cat. It will all come right.

But how will I know? I wanted to ask but didn’t ask. How will I know what is right?



It was nothing but it threw me completely. An easy error, one that is made all the time, I suspect. They double-booked us, both in the studio at the same time, for the same guest. I’m honoured, he said. I left as he had got there first. We’ll both still get paid, and I suddenly had time on my hands. Nice. So why the bemusement? And the sun was shining. It just set the tone for the day. Unsettling. I make plans, order my time, my hours, my minutes so completely that one slight change upends me. Capsizes me. Like it did yesterday. I tried to get back my composure, sitting on a park bench in the sunshine, my eyes closed emptying myself out. But the space bothered me, set my thinking about nothingness, about blankness about having nothing to do. Nothing I have to do. Nothing I want to do but sit.

He wrote about how he sat on a park bench for a year, just thinking. I close my eyes and listen to the sounds around me. I can hear the two lads playing tennis on the courts below, robins and blackbirds singing, a lawn mover, the voices of people walking past me, a couple with a dog, three schoolgirls, and the screech of a seagull. I make myself invisible. Do they see me? Close by man is revving the engine of his car.

I am scared by the nothingness and yet I long for it. How is that? I want to stop. And yet, working shapes me, makes me worthy, worthwhile, doesn’t it? What is it about working – what is it all about once you take away the need to earn? That work ethic is so ingrained. Even on holiday I struggle to stop, to implode to do nothing. But it isn’t doing nothing, he said, you were meditating. I was. At times I really was. Do you think it lowers my blood pressure?

I listened to Anthony Trollope’s The Warden yesterday with the lovely Tim Piggott-Smith as Mr Harding. Would it really be so bad to give up the eight hundred a year for the one hundred pound  living at Grantley Parva? I am split, torn in two. Torn between peace and busy-ness, noise and silence, wealth and frugality. My dreams are full of the battle. The pull of it. I want to go home, I told them. Don’t go, they said, they implored. A man needy and clinging, and a child. Don’t go.


I make mistakes. I write quickly, trying not to engage too much brain. And as a result some of my facts go awry. It was Mill Street, he said, after reading it, not Mill Road. Mill Road is in Cambridge. And, after seeing the credits up on Radio 4 Extra’s screen I realised that it was Laurence Sterne with an e not without who wrote Tristram Shandy. It doesn’t really matter, not in the whole scheme of things. Not really. But I like the details and I don’t want to be thought stupid, by him or anyone. It worries me that, to be considered ignorant. You’ll know this, he says before reading out a crossword clue from the ‘Big One’ on a Saturday night. And then I panic, what if I don’t what will he think of me? It’s only me, he says. I shouldn’t say it. And it is only him. And it doesn’t matter. Not really.

Rich dreams again, chockfull of symbolism. I can only remember midway, there is rarely a neat introduction. We were going for a coffee and found ourselves having to go down a tunnel to find the café. I lost him along the way, the tunnel was narrow and dark. Down and down I went following a line of people. Will it be any good when we get there? I want to be in the light, I thought. And following a man ahead of me, I made a U-turn out of the tunnel. Then I was in a village I knew well. it looks different, I told myself as I walked along its High Street. I went into a newsagent and met an old man and then another. Then I was in the car with them. One was driving, the other was in the front seat next to him. I was in the back watching the road through the windscreen. It was dark. The driver was driving erratically, was he even on the right side of the road? I thought. The other passenger, equally as old as the driver was talking to him calmly, gently as if to temper him. We flew along, the road stretching before us, the headlights of the other cars spilling into our vehicle. I didn’t feel in danger. There was plenty of room on the road for his uncertainty and haphazardness. I woke to the warm sound of the passenger’s voice placating with small talk.

A mild morning. Coming down the hill by Alexandra Hall there was a police car. Four policemen were inside and the front passenger door was open. The bobby in the passenger seat had his foot out of the door on the ground. Was he getting in or getting out? They had parked at an angle, blocking the turning circle. A girl, tall with long, bare legs was smoking and sitting on the wall behind them, just staring. Was she involved in this scene? She looked petulant, cross, insolent even. Then further down the Prom, just outside the Pier Pressure night club there was a body. It was a young lad, dark haired all wrapped up in a blanket and lying on the pavement. The blue lights of the Coastguard car were flashing and there were several men in high vis jackets standing around him. Was he dead? Had he overdosed? Had they pulled him from the water? His hair looked wet. It felt surreal, chaotic. Why wasn’t there an ambulance? Was it a training exercise? Kids were still coming out of the club, seemingly unconcerned

The tides have been high, there was sand and pebbles sprayed across the road.

I am changing. It hurts sometimes, like growing pains. But it is needful, necessary. Letting go of old patterns is a challenge, mostly for the space they leave. The gap. The gap of uncertainty, of unfamiliarity. Keep going. Be brave. Hold steady.


I seek clarity, I always have. Clean, clear understanding of myself, of others and of the world. Not that I want to know everything, I don’t, can’t. I just want to know all I can. Know all that I about bound to know. Though I’m not talking about a factual knowing but a sentient knowing, a knowing with my body as much as with my mind. Such as why am I feeling this way? Why have my shoulders tensed? What is wrong?

Another rejection for my film. So be it. I cannot know if it is any good, or what others will make of it. I tried and the sending it off somewhere was just a means of giving myself a deadline. To get it made. To get something made. To make manifest what is in my mind. It’s OK. I just needed to know, to recognise that sinking feeling, that heaviness in my gut. To know it for what it was. I know it so well. Don’t we all? All of us who send out our ideas, our precious makings for judgement. But with the one rejecting email came another two possibles. So that’s OK. I try. I just try, and then let it go.

Understanding. I ask to be able to remember my dreams when I go to sleep. It’s sometimes like trying to catch hold of gossamer. I lie in the bath and reach for the wisps, forming something from the hints of landscape, a colour (I definitely dream in colour), a sound, a taste or smell. Last night I woke from a dream about a group of kids going to the theatre. I think it was to see a ballet. The theatre was an old one, ornate and spacious. I wasn’t with the party but somehow got involved. They’d been seated in an auditorium with no view of the stage. The performance, which they’d paid for, was going on without their being able to see it. They didn’t seem perturbed, keeping to their seats in that dark space, quite contentedly. I, however, was outraged and complained to the usherette on the door. She found the manager. We went into the auditorium together, she and I to see what they could see. I could hear the music but that was all. She offered me tea. I accepted and somehow we were seated at a table and I was pouring it, the handle burning my hand. We stared ahead of us and gradually, bit by bit we began to see something. Small traces of a performance, tiny figures, a puppet show at first, then other miniscule marionettes appeared. It was mesmerising. She understood my concerns (I’d hoped for some kind of compensation for the school) and was generous about it. But I had lost my anger finally understanding why the children were content. This was a special viewing, a unique experience. The dark had given way to a spectacular but intimate show.

There is so much there. Do I need to spell it out?

They’d promised forty mile an hour winds this morning. I don’t think so. I  was able to walk on the Prom. Can you walk easily into forty mile an hour winds? I don’t know.

My parents will sort it out, a boy voice shouted from outside the Why Not? club at 3.45 this morning. The wind has strewn rubbish everywhere. An oystercatcher shrieked in the dark. And now rain is battering against the window. Spring won’t last long they say. That’s OK. Then it is summer. Amen to that.


I described it as feeling like metal. And yet, in reality it is more like a hard shell, a carapace. It curves around the back of my body. It has protected you, she said. Give it time. It needs time to let you go. Let me go. Yet I get so disappointed when it returns, taking hold as it has done this morning. Can I help? he asks. Do you want to talk about it? Do I? Indeed, can I? When I try to articulate it it comes out so clumsily. What is it about? I lie in bed at night, though it is still day, and think about this. How does it feel to be nothing? It this just about the ego? This fight, this battle, is it just my ego trying to live, to reassert it’s dominance over me? How is it to be nothing? And what do I mean by nothing? I suppose it is to do with no longer being acknowledged, noticed. Ah, this sounds ridiculous. Let’s get to the nub.

It’s about work. It has to be. I get days like this when I do not know what I am doing, where I am going with it. I work inwardly. At least that is my impulse, I work to understand, to make sense of what I am, who I am, why I am here. And by work I mean both my writing and my making. Neither of them bring me an income, well not much anyway. This fact alone, if I use the paradigms I have been raised under, questions their worthiness to call them work. Work equals money where I come from. All of it is been thrown up in the air, my work doesn’t pay, isn’t made for the outside world’s approval, so what is it? And if I don’t know what my work is, then who am I? My work is me and I am my work. No?

In one of my dreams last night I was in a large dormitory with lots of people. There wasn’t much space. Outside the door was a pile of stuff, my stuff, with my name written on labels tied to them. I was to take them upstairs, that much I understood though why or where, I don’t know. Further inside the dorm were some working areas and open plan kitchens. I could see my aprons, I had three hanging up. And 3 identical cutting boards. I need to get rid of some of those, I thought, or find somewhere to put them. It was about stuff, clearing out, making room and dealing with all those other people. Upstairs was clearer, less cluttered, I knew this.

A metaphor, clearly. I wanted to organise my stuff, clear things out, make space in my head. It’s what I am doing know. The desire to sort out my studio is over whelming. To clean, to make order, to find out what this work is about.

Do I really want to pursue this idea that he was so hard on? I don’t know. Do I want to expose myself to public scrutiny again? All that pursuing. Perhaps this week I will sit back, wait and do nothing. Nothing but sew. And write. That is enough.

I can’t go out on Saturday, a youth was shouting outside the Why Not? club. I can’t go out on Saturday, I CAN’T go out.

And then I remember a couple by the Prom yesterday morning. I’d watched them walk to the railing, she sat on the floor at his feet and lit a cigarette. All of a sudden he was shouting, his head leaning over hers: DO YOU UNDERSTAND! DO YOU UNDERSTAND! She made no response, just carried on smoking.


I dreamt I was in somebody else’s space. I was getting it ready for them. Making it nice. And then another person who worked for them, was their PA of sorts, came to me, smiling, apologetic even and said that it was fine but she needed to add more stuff. She had some pottery figures from Cornwall, some wooden objects, cushions, curtains. Bit by bit, she brought the clutter in and the space got smaller and smaller. She talked about her boss and I saw him in my dream, in my mind’s eye. I knew him, had meant to work for him in his other place, a pub-cum-hotel, I think. I’ll talk to him, she said, see if we can’t get that job for you after all. I didn’t want it. I didn’t tell her, though. He was hard-faced, an Eastern European, perhaps Russian. She showed me pictures of his lover, an older woman she talked about how he liked to see the age in her face. (We’d talked about President Macron and his partner, who was 65 a couple of days ago, at breakfast. She’d been his teacher, he said. It gives us all hope, I’d replied. Perhaps this had instigated this reference, who knows?) She was sorry she had to change everything, had liked the way I’d prepared the space. But he likes it this way, she said.

Other people’s homes. I’ve lived in a few. We do so now. It is home but it is not. I always wanted my own home, who doesn’t? It’s an ideal, to be able to live as you choose, do to a space as you will. Though, of course, this has its limits. What would it have been like this home of mine? A flat, a house, a cottage, a bungalow or even a caravan or a barge? Big or small?  I like space, space to move but at the same time I wouldn’t want a mansion. Just enough rooms to live in. The idea of rooms that no one goes into makes me sad. It would be white, barely furnished. Not much on the walls and no clutter, no stuff. And clean. I would clean it from top to bottom, knowing it, knowing all it’s crevices. I like flat-dwelling but sometimes I don’t want to live amongst the mess or accumulations of other people’s lives. And I do fantasise about the freshness of the outdoors, a garden. Room to breathe, to be alone. A little white house with rooms that echo with emptiness.

I am tired. I felt tired walking. There was a light wind and more people were out than yesterday. A police car drove past me on Mill Road, flashing blue. And earlier two cars had driven ahead of me down to the harbour, only to park, lights off and sit. Up to no good? Possibly. Let me go, Steven, let me go. Let me go. A boy is shouting outside Pier Pressure. It is playful. I catch snatches of conversation and unless I memorise it, chanting it all the way home, it is lost. A group of students followed by a man in a hoodie, again along Mill Road. They sprawl along the pavement, falling onto the road, he sidles. Suddenly he rattles a wire fence that sections off the housing development currently under construction. He pulls at it. What is he doing? Then he kicks at a brick that hold the fencing in place. Then another. I leave him to it. Just feeling destructive. I suppose it is harmless. Mindless violence. I remember that phrase from when I was sixteen and on a farm in Worcester strawberry picking. There had been an old armchair in the bunkhouse and one night someone had just hacked at its upholstery, ripping it to shreds. Mindless violence, one of the pickers had said the next morning, adding mournfully, I liked that chair.

The sky is white grey and still.

I’ve painted over the marks on my bedroom ceiling. It looks better, not perfect but better. This will do, you know. This home, this borrowed home. For now, this moment, it will do in all it’s imperfections. It isn’t what I would’ve chosen for myself. But there is much to love. That is enough. And now?

Coffee and work. Coffee and work.


Who rattled your cage?

I don’t know. It was a culmination of things. Of doing an early paper shift that went awry, of having to manage being in the studio with colleagues who I find challenging, of being tired, of wanting him all to myself, of just being rattled. I was rattled and not in a fit state to relax and engender peace. I should’ve stayed at home but a before-hand coffee seemed so attractive. I needed a fillip as I often do after doing the paper review slot. But they kept coming. One after another to chat to him. One even settled down on the arm of the sofa. I’ve got myself some porridge, she said with her mouth full of it. She’d covered the top of it in brown sugar just like I used to do as child. She left only to return almost immediately with a piece of till paper. Are you going into town? she asked him. Could you put a bet on for us? I need forty people to do a sweepstake. She had only four. Names of horses, people and price of bet. OK? I don’t want to do it, he said to me, after she’d gone, it’s a pain in the arse. But he’ll do it anyway. Boy scout, see. Anything to please. They’re nice girls, he said. And they are. They look after him. I like their chat, mostly, just not yesterday. Not then.

We were like skittles. One after another. Down, down, down. I started crying almost immediately. Why? Then the woman next to me started, then the one across. A group of grief. A pool of grief. She did her best to manage it, rapidly changing her plans. I think we should move, she said, eventually. I didn’t want to but she was right. It was necessary. We laughed in the end. And the touch of her hands were warm. I felt such empathy for her, for all of them. We’re too close to the water. I certainly am. I even felt anger towards her at being the instigator of such an outpouring. And yet, she was innocent. A good woman. Kind.

I wanted to feel better. I thought that by sharing my joy, my precious idea with him, I would. He didn’t react as I’d expected. The strict parent, he wanted it to be watertight. Straight off. It hurt. It wasn’t his fault. I was rattled. It was only later that I understood.


Eyes puffy I walked in a haze this morning. Beautiful. It was beautiful. The tide was far out. The air was mild, gentle. Hardly anyone about. Just a smattering of kids. I stared out to sea and did the three point breathing space. It helped. This is joy, I thought. This nothingness, no horizon, no Aberdovey, no Aberaeron. Just nothingness and this breath.