Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Even more Bloggin' by the Sea!

Paradise For Rent!

Could this be the answer I was looking for. Renting a holiday cottage on a regular basis??

I went past the boats and into the rental agency, greeted by a lovely woman called Sian who listened very intently to what I said I wanted and then pulled up some details. She gave me the key to a little cottage on the sea front and when I got there it was perfect! So olde worlde twee, with a balcony seated area overlooking the waves. BUT .. £700.00 per week! GULP! Sian must have seen the dismay in my eye and offered to ask the owner if she would do a deal on short stay out of season: 3 nights for £210.00. Now this may sound like a lot of money to you, it sounds like a lot to me, but if you could feel for one tiny moment, the elation and joy that this place is bringing me, you would understand why I’m considering it! It is heaven!

I went home to get my diary to book in 3 short stays to treat myself. Working holidays: I swear creatively I’ve got more done in 2 days here than I ever could at home! And I feel like the worries of the world have been lifted!

I then popped into the pub on the front for a gorgeous cappuccino and sat in the window watching the boats struggle to stay afloat. The Landlady told me that last night the weather was so bad that one of the yachts came loose and went adrift. In the process it damaged allot of the other boats.

She then stated to tell me about the pub, that she manages it and the accommodation upstairs. She took me up to have a look. I couldn’t see the front suite because people were in it but it is £59.00 per night bed and breakfast and sleeps 2. It has its own little lounge and 3 windows all overlooking the sea. So 3 night here would be £177 but it really wouldn’t be the same as the cottage, but for a one night break away, especially if you bring another bod, it’s only £29.50! (we’re slowly getting into my price bracket folks! Lol)

I decided to go back to Miranda’s to mull things over and to play through the songs from the Fusion Inspire set. What a luxury, hours of humming and strumming, today on uke and guitar, and then a bit of rhythmic djembe to feed the soul.

All the time, my mind wandered back to the Mermaid scales scattered across the beach and so without further ado or distraction I headed down, only to find the tide coming in .. but worry not for  in-between the rocks in the peep hole spaces where even fairies might struggle to hide, I found the discarded scales; some were twinkling in the rushing waters, others brought up by the wash, some buried, but there all the same.

Hours went by, I couldn’t feel the cold but it felt me. It pierced through my gloves, it permeated my skin, but relentless I searched for mermaid scales.

It must look intriguing, a middle aged woman with a hessian bag transfixed on the beach surface because despite the weather and the lack of other life forces willing to risk being blown out to sea, people came to ask me what I was doing.

‘I’m looking for Mermaid Scales,’ I replied. The reactions were so interesting and told me so much about people.

The first was an elderly woman with 3 dogs. She sat on the wall watching me, her blue tinted white hair breaking free from her loosely stacked bun, like snakes reaching for the sky, sat precariously on her head. She had a beautiful kind face, soft.

‘Mermaid scales?’
‘Yes, and you thought they were shells didn’t you,’ I winked, she smiled.
‘Weather’s bad isn’t it. I use to live over that side, it was too blowy over that side, so we moved, we moved over this side. That was before my husband’s stroke. We’re in the bungalow now.’
‘Oh I’m sorry to hear your husband had a stroke, good job you moved out of the wind and into a bungalow before it happened.’
‘Yes, I suppose, but now it’s his knee. He’s had a new knee now and these are terrible, terrible times.’
‘Oh dear, he is in the wars, you would never have managed with his knee if you had stairs.’
‘Terrible times, terrible.’ Her gentle eyes are lost, misty, somewhere else now, in the pain of a sleepless night, tossing in a waking nightmare.
‘At least you still have each other, at least you are both still here.’

My last line brings her back to the here and now.
‘Yes, yes, at least we are still both here ...’

We walk together up the concrete slope like re-united old friends, me the old lady with the windswept serpent-blue rinsed hair and her 3 dogs.

‘Where are you going now?’ She asked.
‘Off to look for some more mermaid scales.'
‘Oh yes,’ she laughed, ‘mermaid scales, hope you find them, you’re a darling.’
‘Take care now, bye ....’

I made my way down to the sea. The wind blew so hard that the boat bells rang in chorus. I could pick out their rhythm. I wonder if these were the bells they could hear in the sea at Cardigan Bay when  the waters flooded, 100 bells ringing, they say. Still ringing on the sea bed, the Legend of the Lost Lowlands.

I headed over to the other beach where the silky sand spread itself without disturbance. As I trawled the sea’s froth I happened upon 2 women and a child.
‘What are you looking for?’
‘Mmm, I’m looking for .... mermaid scales.’
They look at each other, ‘Mermaid scales?’
‘Yes, and you thought they were just shells didn’t you,’ I winked.
‘No,’ said the blonde woman with a twinkle in her eye, ‘I can see that straight away, that they are mermaid scales, yes ...’


I explained all about my grant from the Arts Council of Wales and we chatted about how blessed I am and I told them about my work and how I wanted to give the mermaid scales as gifts. Gifts for all the wonderful people who are on this creative journey with me (that’s YOU, my friend btw) It turns out that although they had come down from Cumbria, one of them was welsh and a musician/singer/song writer. I gave her my business card because I felt sure we were meant to meet on that beach, kindreds passing in the sea's wake.

I made my way back up to Miranda’s and passed a terraced house with a big bay window. Every time I passed it today I noticed a very old woman sat very still, just gazing out to sea from the window. Was she pondering over her lost memories? Was she searching for her Dragon Tree? She looked vacant, almost like a manikin. This time when I walked past, she was still in exactly the same spot, only now she had dozed off and was fast asleep with her chin in her chest.

When I got in and I'd washed all my shells, I did a collage in my notebook with seaweed and driftwood and then made myself a hearty tea!

I decided to go for a walk. Now this is not like me at all. Well, it is and it isn’t it. When I was small my Mum would say,
‘Chez is always outside, you want to find Chez, look for a big tree and she’ll be playing under it.’ But these days I don’t do outside. I live on a huge hill so that doesn’t help because neither way is pleasurable to walk. It’s a struggle to get up and to not trip down.

I thought I’d wrap up and go the other way, up out of the village, and I saw an estate agents window. I had a look and there was a little house for sale 1 mile outside the village. The cheapest house in the village is @ 250k the average @ 450k and this little house is only 110k I walked the mile, it’s a straight line from the village. The little house is just opposite the turning of a huge Caravan Holiday Park. It doesn’t have any Garden and I think the broadsheet is stretching it a bit saying distant sea views; better to write, Sea views somewhere behind the things in front of the house you’re considering buying for sea views!

I might call the estate agent on the morning and see if I can get a booking because it had a lovely inglenook fireplace and despite not having any garden there is an area to sit in front of the house( be it butting onto a busy road) and it also has a Stone workshop out back. Got to be worth a look. Can’t think why it is so cheap. Off course, in my mind I’m wondering if I can rent it out for part of the year to help with the mortgage?

‘Silly to come all this way and not have a look in the Caravan Park though,’ I think to myself, and so in one day I have investigated just about every option in terms of trying to get this feeling of wonderful space for my own creativity into my life.

I’m guessing it’s a marketing ploy to have very fit and handsome young men selling caravans, in crisp white shirts ironed by their mothers; shiny shoes and pressed trousers; the obligatory piercing blue eyes, cheeky grin and a  ‘I may not be Jude Law but I’m close’ confidence that makes me for one, giggle like a silly school girl!

Carwyn, bless him, on his first day of being a sales person, so he says, although I reckon this could also be a ploy because he has all but convinced me to buy one already. Me! Me who has never wanted a caravan, has slightly tongue in cheek mocked them; Me, who has never really understood why we call them mobile homes when they are static; Me, who finds caravan sites just a tad uncultured ... am I sounding a bit of a snob? Well, I have no right to because things have changed on caravan sites since we packed our sandwiches and headed off to Canvey Island for the weekend in the 60’s! At The Park, Carwyn showed me the Exclusive Owner’s Club not for holiday makers renting vans but for people ‘like me who had their own vans’ (He’s good that Carwyn, isn’t he!) ... with a Jacuzzi, a sauna, steam room, gym, with bar and a balcony and designer lampshades, Mmmm, I quite fancy myself hanging out in there!

Then to the indoor heated pool (by- passing the very tacky Amusement Arcade where children spend hours trying to grab a teddy with a mechanical claw even though deep down they know they will not be able to pick it up; where adults slot 2 pence pieces into machines in the hope that the build up will pressurise a plethora of the bronze coins to fall ... through the Butlinsesque Theatre Hall (there was a children’s show on with a huge puppet) into the restaurant ... As you can tell, not my cup of tea.  But Carwyn had a trick up his sleeve.

The Wooded Walk! Now you’re talking ... a one mile landscaped walk though the wild woods alongside the meandering river as it trots like playful ponies to the embrace the sea.


And a view ...

Carwyn took me to a few sites but 2 stuck in my head so I’m going back to have a look again tomorrow with a chum. Carwyn gave me a lift back. We were so long looking round I didn’t fancy walking the mile back, and we ended up chatting in the car. Turns out he wanted to be a sound engineer, did a year in college but went onto electrical engineering. Earlier he had told me how he had adapted his parent’s caravan with decks and sound systems, he came alive when he talked about music. What he really wants to do is tour and be a roadie ... it made me think how incredibly blessed I am that I live my life through the Arts, that music, song, poetry, story, performance, film, directing, producing, are my world, they are not something I always wanted to but never did, because I was brave enough to jump. I did not have a choice. Without these things I am not Cheryl, I am not me, I am just an empty shell, a mermaid’s scale left on the beach with no purpose ...

It tickled me that Carwyn had rather hopefully last thing thought  that I would be able to magic up a £1000 deposit there and then! Ha! Having said that, I really like him and I thought he was excellent at his job. He did not give up where others may have! What Carwyn doesn’t know is that ordinarily, I am one tough cookie when it comes to being sold things, no nonsense! But he has caught me on a day when my head is light and giddy from the wonderment of being alive.

I got home and decided to add sand to my collage with PVA glue which I’m hoping will dry clear, and then headed up for a boiling hot bubbling bath before coming up to blog in bed.

I just heard Fudge coming in through her flap! Phew! She’s been out all evening, this is the first time she has ventured outside since I got here so she was probably catching up with all her chums, or tormenting wind worn mice, chasing the leaves tussled in the gutters, whatever she’s been up to, she’s gone straight to her chair and curled up so it tired her out.

I've set my clock for 6am. I never do that but I don’t want to waste a single minute. I can’t wait to wake up and grab hold of a another day in paradise.  I won’t have very much time to myself tomorrow what with 3 guests throughout the day. I also want to chase up that little house ...

Finishing thought: Miranda has some little books by the loo with poignant philosophies & meditations. I randomly opened the book as if it were a Gideon bible, and the thing that jumped at me was this:

It is in its emptiness when a pot is most useful ... 

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