Saturday, January 14, 2017


January 4th, 2017

Head full of Greece out of early morning emails with Jenni K --reciting the influence of the Durrells, Miller, Clift & Johnson, Leonard Cohen (--i appear to be the only one of the generation who never went to India or Greece or Paris for that matter --friend Cathy's 70's overland adventure its epitome --though naturally always in my head, --and Paris on the map in 1964 but something happened to prevent Christopher Owen, with whom i shared a passion for Oscar Wilde & whose idea it was to drop out of the Tech College in Southampton & go to Paris with me, --my actor friend with the parley vous & the aristo manners & a double crown, --suddenly we werent going -- his pater he said, or his mater, no money forthcoming --ah well, i went to South Wales instead ℅ of a few quid from Aunty Lydia who shared my disappointment at the abandonment of the Parisian reconnoitre -- yet Amsterdam was ever mine, & Ostend & Aachen & some of the German towns, especially Koln, Soest, Dortmund --and India, Greece…? --hmm… "next life" i mutter…) --once more at the kiosque --heard you were still here, Happy New Year--

--but the Point Ormond end of Elwood Beach's sou-westerly bluster's more like the Skegness of another life's forbearance --that is, desire's English inventory of never-visited seaside towns, fed by schoolfriends' holiday reports. However, there was always the Isle of Wight, a jewel compared to the smaller, shalier, stonier, scrubbier Hampshire resorts. Bournemouth we never ever got to, --posher, cosmopolitan, sandy, everything the Aunty in her sophistication would insist as almost acceptable in eternal competition with the Alexandria of her childhood & youth.


When encountered, Summer's here-again-ness could never not have been! One minute of summer day's sand, sea & sky causes instant forgetfulness of Winter --the cliche of the constantly warm-weathered Australia absolutely restored…


Two little boys squabbling over ball, bucket, ice-cream; third little feller inured from the fight by innocent infancy. Mediterranean mother sprawled in the recliner on the sand shrieks instructions for the three to enact the perfect family photograph, otherwise ignores their mayhem. Kayakers return to the water's edge, survey the chop, then quickly into their craft & paddle out. Three swimmers who pulled past in deep water far beyond where our kind of splashers on a brighter, stiller day would abound, reverse now on seemingly effortless point-to-point. From rocks & sea-wall a hundred, two hundred yards away near the old yacht club, the children's playground, toilet block, food vans, presently closed restaurant, back to Point Ormond…


Port Philip Bay's EPA warnings taken to heart --spit out face full of salty, sea-weedy water. One immersion's enough. Throw strange ball back to player with bandy bat. What's that? i'm asking. Thank you, he says clubbing the ball fifty yards across the grass. Hurling, he says --it's an Irish game!  Ah --I was thinking lacrosse or a form of bush tennis. Now dried off & dressed, notebook in hand,  i've commandeered the best bench. Only now, Loretta observes, are others entering the water. The sun's hotter. Your reporter's on his way...

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