So far this year here in the North of England that picture could only have been taken on one day, yesterday. A day that also happened to be my birthday.
On this day I’ve become 62 years old and I reflect on becoming more aware than ever of the value of time and how much I treasure my days. A while back I wrote a whole series of posts on here about living with the idea that each year might be my last. And I live like that all the time now. Judging all of the work I take on and the time I spend by whether I’d do it if I thought I only had a year to live. This has caused a great simplification of my life and a slowing down and a treasuring of the things that I do. Because I will only do things if I judge that they really matter. Like this walk, with Sarah, on this lovely day. And the work I’d done the day before in Homebaked. And the day after in Granby. Very close to my heart and tenderly loved.
The whole of Heswall Fields as boggy as we’ve ever seen it from regularly doing this walk these past eight years now.
When Wirral Sarah first showed me these around 25 years ago, they looked like proud yellow cliffs, around about 11,000 years old. But over particularly the past 5 years they’ve been eroded dramatically. And mostly from the land behind them leaking out so much water that the sodden clay collapses and the formerly sandy beach fills up with the glacial stones the clay formerly contained.
Sarah’s brought a small tripod with her so she can do this and we have many goes at setting the timer and getting it right. The photo you see is of course our first attempt.
I’ve thought a great deal about David Bowie this last week, though I haven’t been able to do any new writing about him on here yet. Though I never met him, when I read he’d died I wasn’t surprised that I broke down and cried. He has meant so much to me. And not just his music, though that has been so much of the soundtrack of my life. I think, like many others have said this last week, that how he always was has always encouraged me to be myself, however unusual that’s meant I’ve had to be at times. Him turning up was the encouragement I needed to be strange. And has been a continual reminder through the years of the value and necessity for me to keep on being myself, to stay strange, to be other, to be slightly outside. I’d thought I was doing it all without him now, now I’m all grown up and 62. But when he died I realised how much I’ll miss him and the possibilities of him.
But I have loved hearing him all over the place this past week.
Now I’ve pretty well stopped driving (we’ve come in Sarah’s car today, I haven’t got one) I’ve not been coming here so much as usual. I came with our friend Jayne on the bus a few months ago, so the changes since then seem very dramatic. And they are.
The walking was heavy and muddy today though. And despite those chocolate biscuits we’re both really hungry.
Too late, as it happens. Five past three and ‘we’ve stopped serving.’
And back home there are my birthday present to be played. All four of them!
A big David Bowie favourite too as I know from the radio recently, Scott Walker. Someone else who’s spent his whole life becoming more and more like himself.
Thanks for the lovely day, to Sarah, the sun and the Shining Shore.