I have a new place to live - my Cottage By The Sea. I feel lucky, blessed and cursed all at exactly the same time. A dichotomy of feelings - guilt and expectation but also the extreme sensation of stepping off a precipice into space - a step of faith, self belief or self deception - I don't know. One moment I feel brave, the next - well, scared senseless. I can't blame anybody else for being where I am, as if blame were the placebo of choice for the illness I have self inflicted, but the outcome is nevertheless the same - I have come home.
Home is the place where we feel - sorry but - most at home. Deal is that place. I love Scotland, and sometimes it feels like I belong there as does driving into County Cork, Ireland, but Deal IS home.. Deal WAS home and now IS again.
So, I bought a bicycle and went for a ride the first Saturday in August and saw - fish! Mackerel chasing the baitfish onto the beach, the shingle sparkling with spangles of silver, flipping in the sun. Tiny sprats that later in the year will be worthy of our attention, yet now are chased by one of my favourite eating fish.
Naturally, I was unable to fish and, equally naturally, the following week when I was able to grab my gear and hit the beach, the water was coloured and weedy. Still, I hadn't cast the Zziplex for many years, the CT6500 ran as smooth as silk and I didn't get a single bird's nest. And I can still cast well.
Oh, but it was so good. The smell of the sea, the sea weed and the salty air. The scudding clouds dancing shadows on the surface as the light skipped across the Channel. The gulls swooping and crying, the grey seal's head popping up unexpectedly and the cormorants diving in a silent glissander of movement.
I caught nothing, but it really didn't matter, I soaked up the minutes, I sat still, I lay back and closed my eyes. It felt like home - it IS home.