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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Soho and sand.


I am writing this with my new fountain pen I bought today as the train glides through the darkness.

I have just left Soho which is just waking up after the heat of the day.
The enticing smells that compete with one another from all the little restaurants.The mellow light in the leafy squares. The lovely architecture, old shops and pubs.The convivial tolerance and anonymity. I never tire of any of it.
Couples and friends sit outside cafe bars sipping slowly, beneath bulbs and beside neon that make intimate pools of light to gossip in.
We chose hot,spicy,Thai food. It cooled us after the swelter of the day and made our lips tingle.
Two young men at the next table spark up a convivial conversation with us about other good places to eat.

I love the way the city sparkles with light and possibility in the fading  of a summer's day.

I have just woken the Saxophonist from amusing fellow passengers on the train with his snoring. I kept him awake in the dress shop ( for once ) and bought several new things to wear.

The exhibition ? (See previous post ) More concept than content actually, when you actually got down to it.

I like a day like that though. One that lingers in the mind for no particular reason. Just strolling and Soho and spicy food and swishy new dresses and the Saxophonist.


Well rested and warm we sit with large mugs of strong, steaming tea to brace us for another hot day.We lay plans for sea after city.
And then it starts to rain.
That's fine though, I know I'm pushing at an open door to say "lets go anyway".
The saxophonist and I are very different people but with similar sympathy's.

( You'd like the saxophonist. He doesn't do jokes but you get the dry remark or the wicked impression instead. He's a clever mimic and picks up on detail that makes you splutter into your drink. )

Anyway, outside there's cooler air with a breeze running through it. The rain comes and goes. Disappears and then returns as a bead curtain of glittery drops on the windscreen.

We eat our picnic high up on the cliffs but finish the last coffee and cigarette without ceremony as the rain starts to plop into the cups.

The Saxophonist scans the map and then we ditch it. I have remembered a half told tale about a beach out on the estuary.Little known but said to be superfine where fossils are concerned. We narrow down the route and spin through wet green lanes.
Two lead nowhere and then we hit a third. It leads nowhere too ,but, a local couple , on foot, are picking blackberries as we pass. As we return I ask. The man says he hasn't been for forty years, did it as a boy though, collected fossils, nice memory. The couple confer and decide we "will do".

"Ignore the PRIVATE  sign at the lane's end,  go through the hidden gate, you'll find it from there " they say.

We find the hidden gate and a narrow path all but hooded with blackberries. We try them. They are warm and sweet from the sun. Further along a fence emerges on one side and two horned cattle find us impertinent. On we go. The path ends in a surprising set of steps. Worn , wet, wooden ones. We urge one another to be careful. I go first, and up we climb.

This isn't a view its a PANORAMA. There's miles of it. Estuary and a strand of sand that goes on for forever.
A serene landscape of navy, green and dull silver as the storm clouds roll round the sky. We climb down a second set of steps onto the sand.
It is LOVELY. We both gulp down the ozone and stand mesmerised by the vast empty beauty of it.
By the time we are ready to leave we are both wet as herrings,have wet sandy feet and are grinning with glee.
As I'm sitting and writing this I'm glancing up at the fossils on the table. There's still sand on my feet and when I think of the place I SOAR.


  1. Mine's a more simple question - Golden Cap?

    1. Just googled Golden Cap.
      Nowhere near it.
      I take it that it has a similar vibe.

    2. Jurrassic Coast similarities by the sound of it.

  2. Each part of this post allowed me a glimpse of a different landscape.

    You've reminded me to refill my favorite fountain pen. I resuscitated it last year after it had spent several years in a drawer. This particular fountain pen has a medium nip and writes very well, but has a newly bought competitor, a uniball signo gel pen with a fine point I found at a Japanese bookshop.

    It was fun to be reminded of the streets of Soho.

    How grand to have the blackberry pickers reveal the route to the secret beach, and that you all took that path for a memorable adventure on a rainy day. xo

  3. Evocative writing, Angela. Once upon a time Soho, as you describe it, would have lifted my spirits. Now I rarely venture to London. Although I will go next year for the Hockney retrospective. Secret coves and deserted beaches are always fun though. Especially when there are fossils!