Back to the coast

Brighton on a dark winter evening. “This is my bedtime,” says Lou. It’s ten to eight. She’s been getting up at 4.30am to meditate for the last few weeks while I’ve been running around.

I picked her up in Hereford this morning. I couldn’t come in because of the leprosy. I arrived armed with chocolates for the people she’s been working with. She carried them in. They’ve all gone into quarantine for now, and at some point all of the monkish meditating facilitator types will be able to have naughty Roses that have been slathered with sanitiser.

Then it was another three hours back to my flat just to check the fishies and give them some gradually dissolving food. The dispenser thing arrived but I don’t trust it without testing so I’m relying on Chippie the weather loach not hacking the slow dissolving pellet to pieces in half a day. It’s meant to last a week. He was getting stuck in almost before it landed so we shall see.

We were super organised and we got all the perishables out of the fridge to take with us. All the tasty cheeses and healthy veg and filthy meat. Even the smoked salmon. I found a special plastic bag so we could carry them all to Brighton. A foodbag.

A full tank of diesel takes forever to burn so we made it to Brighton without having to touch any pumps. It was only as we hit the lights of town that we had the conversation about the foodbag. “Did you bring it?” “No, I thought you had it!” Bugger. All the tasty goodness, all neatly left by the door.

Thankfully owing to the wonders of technology I can switch my thermostat off using my phone. The animals are independently heated, so I’ve turned the flat into a fridge and since I’ll only be gone a short while, I’ve got vast amounts of suspicious cheese to look forward to on my return. We’ll see how that goes. I’ve never had food poisoning from cheese and I’ve had some pretty ancient camembert over the years.

Right now I’m going to just enjoy being here by the sea. Ahhh the sea! I can hear it roaring as I write – maybe just a few hundred metres from my face. It’s cold tonight and windy. There might be snow on the beach tomorrow once the wind dies down. I’m snuggled under blankets and my grandmother’s seersucker, listening to the waves crashing as Lou tries not to fall asleep in the bath. Occasional sharp bursts of sleet hammer on the skylight.

Good to be out of London, to be warm and to be in good company – even if she’s still half vegetable after her two weeks meditating and making curtains. I might go and see if she’s still awake in there.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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