May 19th, 2020

The Lockdown Is Easing

We were going to drive to the Birling Gap today but then Ailz saw a report about how crowded it was yesterday and we decided to drive to St Leonards instead. The Birling Gap (though I like to think of it as my very own secret garden) is one of the most famous beauty spots on the South Coast- and St Leonards isn't- but both are places where the land ends and the sea begins.

Personally, I rate St Leonards- with its early 19th century stucco buildings- as one of the loveliest towns in Britain- but the opinion-makers haven't discovered it yet- and on the whole I'd rather they didn't.

There's a shingle beach. There were people sitting on it- suitably distanced- and I found myself a space. A middle-aged man who'd been sunbathing on the nearest breakwater picked himself up and went for a quick dip. The sun was warm, the breeze was nippy. The sky over the water was overprinted with a hazy cloud formation- made out of criss-cross vapour trails (yes, the planes are flying again)- that made me think of a bird in flight- with  wings that stretched from one end of the horizon to the other. It must have been windless up there because the bird held its shape for all of the ten to fifteen minutes I was looking at it...