I’m back from an invigorating few days in one of my favourite places on earth-St Ives. It’s a good time to go there, as there are no crowds, the sea is lashing the rocks and the winds blowing in off the Atlantic are fierce and passionate. Margery and I took a small, white apartment right next to tiny Porthgwidden beach, which has a cafe with a chef hungry to prove himself. So it was scallops, mackerel, paella and moules all round. Mmm.
Now its back to The Warren and all that constitutes city flat living; dust, autumn leaves and a cat upstairs that often has a mad moment in the middle of the night. The dust and the leaves I can do something about, so this morning, while the world gathered round monuments to the fallen, with wreaths of red, I gathered up the bichla bitha from my sideboard and gave it a good wash, in time for the winter candlelight and fairy lights, revealing the gold decoration on the edges of my grandmother’s plates. And while I did this, I thought about all those young men who became a generation’s sacrifice of a projection of fear and nationalism and aggression. And I wished that the poppy could somehow become truly meaningful and that we could all rise up and say no to any wars and the meaningless butchery that ego demands as a sacrifice to dualism.
It is ten years since I last visited St Ives and I ask myself why it has been so long, when I love it so much? The only answer I can think of is the fact that the last ten years have flown by and there have been so many other things to do and places to visit. Standing in the Tate looking out over the beach and the headland to the ever- changing sea, I felt a powerful sadness for the losses that my inner tide has washed away in those years. People have died yet babies have been born. The only constant is love. There is also growth; in gratitude and inner calm. Jean- Claude says I am growing like a well- pruned tree, strong and measured and regular. But how I miss the passion of ten years ago, when the sea lashing the rocks echoed what was going on inside. Now I look out and as the wind takes my breath away, I am so very glad it comes back and for a time at least, I am here and living, full of wonder.