barometers drop like leaves: a moment

“Would to God these blessed calms would last. But the mingled, mingling threads of life are woven by warp and woof: calms crossed by storms, a storm for every calm.”

Moby Dick p570 Ch 114 The Gilder

A storm was coming and my partner D____ and I hastened to Beer for a snuggled weekend to watch the sea from the cozy glow of the warm house and pub.

Yes, we were expecting rough seas and the need to ‘batten down the hatches’ but we were keen to be near to the elements. October is my favorite month to be on the pebbled beach. The cool and fresh breeze blows worries from my frown, and a sea of swell is often unfamiliar disturbed brown water: but it’s warm enough to stand and watch.  As the curls of sea roll and tumble, over and over moving rising constantly, I breathe deep and it pulses breathing rhythmical time.

Moby Dick - Rockwell Kent 122

How many eyes before us once watched as we did to see see the sea froth and waves roll from thundering miles off to reach the pebbles of the Beer Beach? We watched for hours from the Anchor Inn reception area that faces out to sea with a pint until it was too dark like a cloak of invisiblity. We watched out of the cottage window. We watched from shoreline in Beer and Seaton and Lyme Regis. Tick Tock.

In the night on Monday when the strongest winds were due, I awoke to hear the bluster and bumping of the fierce South Westerly against the house. I thought “this is it” and held my breath. Our bedroom walls on the corners of the house vibrated and it sounded as gusts funneled past,but it was not like being in a space ship, and the wind was eager to pass through and get to somewhere else, it became background to snores and I fell back to sleep.

In the path of the predicted storm, the crosshairs, we were feared that the world would look different the next morning, To some people it did. But in Beer Tuesday was bright sunshine and dazzling calm. The world belied the warnings and precautions, and only the 8am tree surgeon whizzing his electric saw in the distance echoed through the valley that runs to the sea.

I wondered at this idyllic view of autumn Beer and then, as sometimes, I felt I had a tiny tunnel back in time, lost in space, just for a moment.

The next night at the pub again I remembered what I had thought the night before, ‘Michael the poet’ is getting old. He blew into the bar with the wind both nights after dark wearing only a ripped denim shirt on his back, no coat, and he looked very thin. He walks down to the pub from the highest part of the town, and it must have been so windy a stick thin old man could silently blow away. I want to steel myself to try to interview him soon. I don’t want him to blow away, but we all will eventually.

But I’ve said I’d approach him before and I’ve never had a proper reason to do so, to persuade him to acquiesce. What am I interviewing him for? I’d like to take an interview with a bohemian magician poet of peace, as old as the owl in the trees, with white flowing shoulder length hair, the poet in residence of the aforementioned pub but it is for my own indulgence.

Who knows what he may think or say. When you are wild-white-haired and wear only a shirt against a storm, what need have you for the words of a smarty-pants from the city with a  dictaphone and an agenda, they may ask the wrong questions?

september and the deckchairs on Beer Beach, now packed away


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