Evening by the sea, with the sun falling behind the huge offshore wind farm south of Brighton and I’m feeling considerably less neurotic. We’ve all taken such a string of hits since this time last year. Sometimes the energy just gets low and it’s harder to see the light.
We have just got back from Chanctonbury Ring, an ancient grove atop a nearby hill with views across the downs and down to the sea, glittering all day as the weather attempts to edge us closer to Spring. It’s a beautiful walk up there, and the peace of the place is accessible even through the screaming of the children that appear to be everywhere at the moment, just before the schools reopen once more. There are a lot of parents on their final weekend before they get some downtime. They must be thrilled.
I’m glad to be out of London again. The parks are great, but the city generally feels like its lost its purpose. So many of my friends are there because that’s notionally where the work is. But it isn’t anymore. I once replied to a tweet from a stranger and found myself in a Soho studio with cans on half an hour later doing background Viking movie noises for love and cash. I dropped everything and shot into town for last minute work quite frequently actually. Development readings, last minute cover, emergency driving, short notice audition. I can go from joggers to three piece suit in about thirty seconds, and even remember my keys fifty percent of the time as I bustle out to the tube station for whatever the opportunity is this time. But … that was in the beforetimes – the times of old when the people of Londonton freely moved and lo, they breathed of the airs without fearfulness.
Now I’m glad to be in Brighton, where the sea wind helps people shake the cobwebs out of their own heads. People are far more likely to say hello to strangers here even without this nasty little shit of a situation. And it’s a beautiful evening. I’m so lucky to have a car. I honestly don’t know how I’d cope without it. I’m sitting in it facing the sea, breathing as I write. I’ll need to remember how much weight has already dropped off me, so I can try and carry that lightness back to the smoke with me tomorrow…