Tuesday, April 10, 2007

"Oh, the water..."

Who knows why, but lately we've been getting ragged and jagged, a kind of emotional entropy that can start to happen: defensive, jumping down each other's throats,stuck in a feedback loop of perceived anger and consequent anger.

Even agreeing to go for a walk at the Easter weekend seemed to be a difficult matter, but go we did, to a lake near the mouth of the Gouessant, first dammed by order of a Duke of Brittany in the 13th century, to bring power to his mills. We snapped and bickered a little and blamed the dog as we set out from the car, but slowly, as we made our way around, the sun on the water, the reflected trees, the gathering glow and warmth of the morning, all began to work in us, and as we completed the circuit of the lake, we realised we were calm and cheerful.



I haven't many pictures; taking photos I find is a solitary pleasure, Molly's company excepted. She's got the hang of it now, and seems to understand that it's rather like a good smell is for her, something that can't be rushed, and we've a reciprocal arrangement where each of us waits at the end of the lead or a bend in the path for what we consider to be a reasonable time while the other indulges themselves in sniffing or snapping.


( See these balloons? They've crossed the Channel - Harvey's half-price sale, they announce desperately in English, but where, when? Their helium exhausted, they flutter impotently, their message meaningless, in a French rockpool, surely a metaphor for something...)

We drove out to the bay for lunch, sandwiches of salmon rillettes (posh fish paste) and cucumber, thermos flavour coffee and fruit-and nut-chocolate which we ate in the car in the little cliff-top car park, where there were perhaps two or three other vehicles. As we ate we watched the waves, wrinkling and crested running forever, from right to left over the silvery surface below, little by little drawing away in the great tidal reach this bay is known for. And the spell of the water continued to work; we spoke, of memories and fears and I don't recall what else, and much more we listened, to each other and to ourselves, our voices pitched low and even in the small space of the car, deafness was forgotten and anger ebbed away with the tide.


There was plenty of time; time in the afternoon to work in the garden and not waste the opportunity of the weather there either, time to go for drinks later, (a potential source of tension that no longer was, I babbled inconsequentially like a stream in a concrete pipe, and sang for my glass of Bordeaux and everyone was happy, I think, myself included...), time for Tom to take out a book and read,


while Moll and the camera and I went down to the beach, to walk on the rippled sand and round and round the rugged rocks like ragged rascals.


A holiday weekend, a sunny day and a clean beach and scarce another soul in sight, save for a couple of cockle diggers, with a big fork and a bucket and wellingtons. The big stretch of golden sand and pretty blue sea and jolly bars, one or two of which might even be open, at Val Andre just up the coast would begin to fill up by about 3, but here is all grey-blue and bronze and wide estuary and green cliffs with yellow wallflowers , and people don't bother much. The camera batteries failed and the spares were in the case in the car, but I took a few, and it didn't matter too much. We were there anyway.

15 comments:

Tall Girl said...

Lovely...

Tall Girl said...

Btw we have a department store called Harveys in Halifax. Wonder if the balloons had flown from there...

Granny J said...

Beautiful. I am reminded how long it's been since I've even seen the sea. Yes, I do miss the shore. Once in a great while, the wind is such that the air has a mild odor of the ocean. Thank you for a wonderful day!

marja-leena said...

A loving post about a lovely day, with that bit of familiar touchy domestic tension that is eased by the peace and beauty of the outdoors. Glad it was a good Easter for you both.

herhimnbryn said...

Mmmmmm, I recognise that sort of curious bickering!
Your description of the walk had me there with you. My favourite type of beach, breezy, clean and empty.
Bryn also understands I have to stop and point a metal box at various sights.

Anonymous said...

Lucy,
Marja-leena says it; eased by the peace and beauty of the outdoors.
Somewhere, your post has reminded me of Francois Sagan. I can't recall where. I will have to go back and see if I can find it.

Brother Dave

Lucy said...

TG - thanks; I'd love to think the balloons came all the way from there!
GrannyJ - thank you, lovely to have you along. The sea isn't very far, on a clear day I can see it from the top of our hill, but we don't go so very often. I like to know it's there though.
ML - it has been a lovely Easter in fact, still enjoying the holiday, I think everyone knows about that kind of tension, and the happiness of releasing it peacefully... if one's fortunate I guess.
H - likewise, it's nice that people say, 'oh yes I know about that!'
Dave, great to have you coming back, I don't know much of Francois Sagan.

Jan said...

Lovely post;such honest writing...re relationships, the place, yourselves.
It was clearly an important holiday weekend in many ways; it made superb reading.
Like you, I love the sea, its colossal moods..you are so lucky to be near it
I wonder if you've yet seen the PS I added to your posting re Malvern etc?

Plutarch said...

A world within a world. You seem to have walked out of the geography into a new dimension. I love the photographs and the pictures. How well they qualify one another!

Avus said...

I think the rock pool and the sand ripples are stunning pictures, Lucy

catalyst said...

Tom is a lucky man.

If this had been a Hitchcock movie, you would have just drowned him in the lake.

marly said...

From raveling to unwinding...

Lucy said...

Thanks again.
Jan, yes, I did, thanks - I usually check back now and then at least over more recent posts; it's nice to get later comments and i often like to leave them at other people's. I think the proliferation of prep schools in the malvern area is largely to do with Malvern college. I'll come and visit you soon, I promise!
Avus, Plutarch, Marly, thank you, for lovely words.
Catalyst - tee-hee!

Tall Girl said...

Belatedly it came to me where the quote came from as I was walking by the beck this afternoon and heard Van the man's voice in my head 'oh, the water, oh-oh the water...' etc. Thanks for that...

Lucy said...

TG - ah good! I thought you'd know it. I still listen to him quite often.