e x c e s s

990227.0203 tamarisk farm

i wasn’t going to write tonight . to be honest i’m becoming a bit self-conscious about the regularity with which i’m still transmitting . can i suggest that anyone who’s getting sick of this switches to digest mode so that they receive a weekly bundle ? or at least let me know . i’d far rather exercise a bit more restraint than end up writing to nobody but myself .

back to tonight though . having wrapped up work about an hour and a half ago i put on some more clothes and set off for the post box to drop some things in for tomorrow’s collection ( six days a week at midday , except in bad weather ) . as i walked i grew conscious that. my window was the only one on the island showing a light .

my packages deposited i struck back . but the briliant moonlight ( about three-quarters full ) and the distant rumble of the surf were too much for me . i walked down to the beach at periglis ( pronouned preg’lus ) where earlier in the day i had stood for half an hour in the rain watching two atlantic seals shyly observing me from quite close in .

beneath the crash and rush of the breaking waves i could sense the deeper roar of big surf . drawn by this i picked my way onwards across the tumbled rocks . around porth coose , through the brambles and grasses out to browarth point . with every stride the sound stronger in my ears , the same rising excitment i knew as a child . reaching the point i hauled myself up on some rocks looking down over the panorama of turbulent water .

all around me was seething foam , stretching out several hundred meters . the rollers combing relentlessly in , rising to a crest where they met sumberged reefs , erupting vertically against the face of rocks protruding above the surface . occasionally a shaft of spray would project across me . the awesome crunch and sizzle and growl all about me . i cannot begin to describe it .

anyone who has spent time watching the surf will know that waves are never constant . at intervals there will be several of greater strength than the rest . it so happened that shortly after i reached my perch such a cluster came in . they rose seven or eight feet , foam blowing from their peaks . one experiences these things things with one’s stomach as much as eyes or ears . in they swept , one after another , crashing around me and filling the air with spume .

this place makes me feel so alive . looking about me i could see the disused lighthouse hovering pale in the centre of the island , the three working lights ( round island , peninnis head , bishop rock ) sweeping their ever-present pulse , the dark shadows of other islands , two street lamps on st mary’s ( the only jarring note in the landscape ) , the thin clouds tearing across the moon , wind-combed bushes , everywhere the sea . the steady wind fresh on my face . the rock and turf underfoot .

anyway i wanted to write . my heart’s so full of it all i had to try to share it somehow .

the bach st john passion is on radio three as i write . some of the most
exquisite music ever written .

honestly guys , i’m almost in tears here .

: cH

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