Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Sea by night

This week I'm in Cornwall. Ten days away from my moonwriting desk. All because of a beer festival on a Saturday and a moonwalk nine days later.

It's a great chance to return to my moon roots: Falmouth being the home of my first moonwalking adventure over 18 months ago. And thankfully not much has changed - though there is a new Lidl on the outskirts of town, and a Sainsbury's. But ambling along the coast at night, in the rain, remains liberating, exciting, refreshing and soaking.

Last night, few ventured out. Sea mist had taken the town. A couple of hardy souls walked dogs, but others were just too sensible to nightwalk in this sort of weather. But give me a couple of tasty local ales and a hearty steak dinner and I'm all yours, if you're rain and sea (certainly not what the doctor ordered last week when I choked my symptoms to her).

There's a problem with walking alone in bad weather at night. It's that the few other people who are out have a better reason to be out than "I like nightwalking". Usually there's a scruffy dog being dragged along, or it's a young couple trying to be romantic and nature conspiring against them. Or it's a chef rushing home after a night in his seafood restaurant. It's rarely a single man, alone.

People stare. Even if you do happen to spot another single man strolling, he'll give you a quick suspicious stare whilst plodding along. But, to be fair, I do the same. "What's that weirdo doing out at this time by himself? Up to no good, I'm sure."

There were no characters from last night to tell you about. Oh except for the men and women I imagined playing poker in the ships that undulated on the horizon. With the seas rough around them, they cursed as their chips hit the deck. But they gambled into the night - grumbling, laughing, joking, swearing. And they looked back to Falmouth, through a shared mist. Their families miles away - but their friends taking their minds off that. And taking their money in the process.

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