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Today, I’m feeling monochrome…

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This afternoon I was overcome by an urge to head for the coast. The sun had retreated, but the breeze was still warm and the clouds made a fine spectacle. There were others on the stony shore at Auchmithie, enjoying the close of the summer. Slavic voices fleeted up on the wind, too distant to tell where from, and I wondered how they had come to find this hidden cove.

 Some houses for sale: tiny, squint, one-story things, like rural homes ought to be; and I fantasise of a bleak, seaside existence…

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I’m trying desperately, desperately hard to remember where I am and why I should be happy. But godammit, I’m not. I’m afflicted with an imposing sense of malcontent, making me grumpy, angry even, with far more regularity than is usual or acceptable. The line down my brow has returned with a vengeance due to excessive scowling. The centre point beneath my ribcage feels fit to explode with frustration and a desire to do recklessness: the pressure of boredom. I remember the last time I had this feeling – when I was working at a supermarket and had no outside intellectual stimulus whatsoever. I would go to work, put on the customer service veneer for a few hours, and pound the walk home with my insides feeling like they wanted to burst out.

I’m bored on this island. It is pretty and warm and easy-going, and it is small and samey and cultureless. The same pish songs play relentlessly. There is nothing worthy of dancing to. Last weekend I was eating my breakfast when one such number began blaring from across the street. I had a fork in my hand and in all honesty that moment could have stabbed someone with it. The majority of the tourists are vacuous blonde types – educated, I mean they have brains in there, but not an interesting word seems to make it out of their mouths. The reprieve of anonymity is not available. Everyone sees and listens and gossips about everything you do in that small-town way that I detest my small-town hometown for so much. And you would not believe how tedious hot and sunny can get.

Therein lies another fundamental problem. Too much heat and too much sun fry the brain. I feel uninspired and by-and-large empty. Not much is going on up there. I hate to say it, but I need the winter. I need the edge of misery that comes with grim weather to needle the creative parts of my brain…

Despite the general discontent, moments of happiness do abound in small things. Drinking from a glass glass is a rare pleasure, as is an occasional dabble in hot water. Yesterday, I clambered over seaside rocks again. We located a source of plain yoghurt this week, and I earned enough money to splurge on some Danish cheese, which I ate on crackers with avocado whilst sipping a low-quality Chilean sauvignon, and by goodness did it make me smile. This morning I fed our adopted dog, Dingo – who is still terribly emaciated after suffering worms for so long – the remaining eggs from my brunch, which he enjoyed immensely. For a creature on the brink of starvation, he is unfathomably fussy, so I too was immensely happy that he ate the eggs.

I’ve been sleeping terribly badly lately. Whether I’m drunk or sober, go to bed at 10pm or 6am, I sleep badly, and it’s beginning to make me bad tempered and despondent. Something has to be done…

Today, I took my new bicycle (it’s rusty as hell, has only two working gears and one working break – worryingly, the front one. But it’s new to me. And actually, it’s in pretty good nick for a Utilan bicycle – it has a working break!) and cycled out east to the volcanic iron cliffs where we had stopped off on the golfcart day.

And it was the most fabulous day for it. Fuck sunshine and Caribbean calm – today the sky was filled with clouds and all of the shades of grey, and the sea was raging, and it reminded me of home, in a good way. Raging against the shore in the way that if you step too close, in a second it will whip you down and smash you to pieces. Nothing quite like the threat of imminent death.

I fucking love the sea.

I set off across the moonscape, clambering over the irony, jaggedy, volcanic rocks. With the preceding rain and the ferocity of the ocean, rock pools had formed, filled with clear water, whelks and crabs, creating minute waterfalls. I got to the edge and discovered a second inlet, with an even wilder crashing swell. Like at the brink of a waterfall, or at the edge of the subway tracks, there is that creeping temptation to fling yourself over…

And there I saw m­­­­y perfect house, on the other side of the inlet: a little square cabin with a pagoda-like roof, a balcony with two chairs facing the incoming storm…

I had no camera with me. These pictures from the sunny golfcart day give an idea of the landscape, though without the drama.