In St Ives there are crowds in thin lanes and when a bus goes past everybody faces the wall. We are looking at the sea and through gallery windows at pictures of the sea. Tiny dogs ride around in handbags. A few of the shops sell fudge, and one of these shops is very keen to let you know, in an underlined and laminated sign, that the fudge on offer there is in no way affiliated with any of the fudge on offer elsewhere, you got that? All the other fudge is full of broken glass and lies. The fudge game must be no joke round here, many a life having been torn to sweet tatters by the retailing of inferior fudge under the superior name of, I forget what this shop is called. I hope they can find peace before any blood flows into the sea.
Giedra finished. I’ll miss her. Jose Saramago arrived, beeping and jiggling, with his Blindness. It has funny bits, at first, dollops of ha-ha in the worsening squalor. (So far, that is, by page 109, who knows how it’ll progress. The outlook is not good.) I like that Jose doesn’t have time for speech marks.
I’m at a table on a balcony. Having spent an hour looking at the sea and beach to the east, it might be time now to spend an hour looking at the sea and beach to the west. If I close one eye and tilt my head a bit, I can make my nose replace the land on the other side of the bay, and the waves trundle up it and it tickles.By page 173 there’s no more room for joking. Maybe the jokes went in at the start to make the eventual lack of jokes seem more serious by contrast.
A sign advertising boat trips lists one of the destinations as Hell's Mouth (no mention of death’s door). For booking information phone Derek. Now I’m in a craft beer/hot dogs type place. You know: a Ruby Jean’s Burger Garage, a Betsy Turnpike’s Chow House, and it has a balcony with a good view of the harbour and the bay and the hills and the balcony I was on earlier. David Gray or oh god it might be James Blunt is playing, and I’m pining for Motown. I could run and launch myself, wailing, off the balcony and over the road and into the water.
Out in the bay a rumour of dolphins emerged and was blown into Derek’s ears and out of his mouth, opposite, but nobody’s biting. I’d like to see a dolphin but he hasn’t offered to bring one to me, and I don’t want to end up in Hell's Mouth, I’ve been there before and only a fool’d go back on purpose, and now The Killers are playing, Jesus, put James Blunt back on.
In between these balconies I walked to Carbis Bay, the next one over, behind the hill my nose was, it was big and quiet, blue and beige, you know what a beach looks like. At the back of it a man sat drinking rose (ay, rose-ay, where's the button for e-garnish on this Mac?) from the bottle, a pink umbrella obscuring his face, but you could see a grey cone of beard tickling his chest, and three small dogs sat watching him.
I’m facing east again. Soon it’ll be time to face west.
Oh here’s Jack Johnson, my life is fraught with invisible peril, won’t be long before Laura Marling’s here, this soundtrack doesn’t seem to go with the hot dogs and craft beer experience, shouldn’t we be having Huey Lewis or a Bill Cosby monologue or something, why’s nobody consulted me on this, it’s as if they don’t value my many balanced opinions at all.It must be time to go elsewhere. This pint is reluctant to disappear, I don’t know what the music is now but it’s obviously meant to induce contentment, which I’ve always found obnoxious, like a stranger squeezing your hand, here’s Redemption Song, it’s time to go.