Going home from London to Borth is always strange. After all these years and countless times of moving between these two places, I still don’t understand it. My feelings exist nonetheless. I walk around as if I’m walking the edge of a cliff. Be careful, don’t fall, walk slowly. I find myself looking around the bungalow like I’ve never been here before. That shelf needs tidying, is the shower always this mouldy, does anyone ever hoover around here? ‘Yes,’ a voice tells me, ‘you did, on Sunday.’
I always feel uneasy when I get home. Like I’m Schizo. To the point where I want to go off into a corner and have a little cry. It happened to me again yesterday after we stepped off the train. Then last night, after I finished putting the clothes away and bleached the shower, I decided with all this time I spend writing, I’m going to try to put it to good use. I’m going to figure out these feelings.
Here’s my list of possibilities:
1. Living in rural Wales. After all, it’s not my original home. Saying that, this coastline has air cleaner than a Dyson showplace, except that it’s natural – more ionising, seaborne particles than a person has the right to inhale. We have storms in the winter – and a summer storm today (or as Delph calls it – ‘it’s a bit Stormzy today’) – but this generally filters out the part-timers. And I like my beach empty. What else could it be?
2. Am I sad to be leaving metropolitan London? I have been regretting, through all of our recent visiting, that I probably didn’t appreciate London enough when I used to live in its boroughs. Free, fantastic talks. Inclusive dancing on your doorstep. Cultural opportunities, interesting people – London still functions as the centre of well, everything. I feel it when when I walk down its streets. History in the houses, the present along its streets, the future in the skyline. But here’s the thing – I can’t breathe in London. I had to make peace with this a long time ago. Everybody’s different. For some reason, I need fresh air more than urban brilliance.
3. This leaves the last possibility – my family. I have family in Borth and family in London – both groups pretty fantastic and not in the same place. Aha. Bullseye. Thank you dear reader.