It’s difficult for me to imagine being more content than this. The best Billie Holliday album I have ever owned is playing on the CD player on the shelf. ‘Keeps on raining, look how its raining, your daddy he can’t make no time.’ I am sipping a good strong brew and letting particles of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange melt on my tongue.

I am sitting in the alcove of our beautiful sea-facing window seat, looking out as wind and rain lash down upon the ocean and the people who have gathered for fires on the beach. K and S are walking along the promenade: I thought I should let them go alone together. Drizzle mists the window, the flashing flower-heads of fireworks crystal purple and quicksilver against the sky. Two girls on fluorescent skate boards scoot past. Two bobbies patrol, they’ve just turned their collars up. I wonder how long they will stay there, out in the rain – the revellers, not K and S. Hoods are up and parkers glisten with rain. It was lovely down there, I still carry the traces of wood smoke on my hair. I love the re-wilding that fire brings; eyes trained on flame like a wild cat’s.

I am grateful that the lights outside are so mellow, they burn a lambent factory orange.

The Conservation Society and Nature Society were welcoming hosts this evening. The protected spot near the beach hut was our place, a beach hut that when it opens in the summer sells the most delicious honey-flavoured ice cream you can imagine.

I require love that’s made of fire and in his arms I always get the … no good man ever since the world began loved like anther fool like me, born to be in love with a no-good man.

A flute trills and pipes; I think of the syrupy movement of reeds in the wind.

God bless the child that’s got his own.

This is a sad song, it accepts defeat and the cramping effect of society’s glass ceiling. But maybe it’s true. The fires seem to burn more brightly in the rain, they appear to me now like a line of sentry posts camping out by the sea, signalling to a distant shore.

We went up to the castle to watch the fireworks display in the football stadium. It was one of the most memorable firework displays of my life. With a framing of chimney-topped brick houses and the silhouette of a thousand invisible people standing about tucked between ruins and bouncy tussocks of grass, we watched the misty winking lights in the sky. It wasn’t experimental; just beautiful branches of light, some steady, some trembling, fizzing like catkins on willow.

I cannot tell if I want to go outside again. This is my favourite song on this album:

What is this thing called love?

Trumpets: brassy, coppered, nasal. There is a smoothness redolent of exotic parties on beaches (not in Wales), diners holding fragile-stemmed cocktail glasses, shifting about to the accompaniment of a walking bass line.

You took my heart and threw it away.

That’s why I ask the lord in heaven above, what is this thing called love?



5 November 2015


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