The first night in my own bed was just as usual. Maximum eight hours sleep and up from 5 in the morning I was only in some meditative state.
Well, my trip.
It can be well described with one lovely M word.
Ah, and rain of course, to make the mud.
The day of arrival was still fairly easy yet an adventure. Walking about a mile to the B&B. When I stepped through the garden door I see the manager already in the garden giving me this look, like ”Who are you? And why are you here?”
Her look quickly explained itself. Although I booked two months in advance she did not have a room for me. After a cup of tea and lots of running to check her PC and phoning pub friends in the area she found a room in the pub a few yards away.
And…wow…honestly…the room was amazing.Still I would have preferred my originally booked room. The lady was so lovely, hugging me a dozen times to apologize.
As long as I had a bed to sleep the world was fine.
Behind me: Totnes Ahead of me: Stoke Fleming
”The pouring rain had stopped for this morning. Breakfast was French, music not toast. The British toast with honey and tea. A few more pages by Umberto Eco.”
”Wow, what a brutal walk! Up and down the hills, no internet or phone network.
Right now only Hairspray or Psycho on TV.
Every inch of my body hurts, is swollen or longs to fulfill a desire.
My body is restless, too moved to sleep but I feel almost motivated again to walk tomorrow.
I am here for the sea, most of all.
Stoke Fleming is directly by the sea, strange how you can sometimes see the sea yet you seem to never reach it. Hills over hills.
Most of all I would like some normal food, like pizza or chips, tomorrow. In civilization at Dartmouth.”
I did not count steps or the miles. After the fifth hill or so I did not bother about what was left behind.
The worst bit was probably when I got lost half way, a footpath in the woods, from the rain in the morning the red soil was soaked. At some point it was easier to walk through water instead on mud (where I got stuck a few times). My shoes I wore then I had to throw away and…there may be hope for my trousers. The mud still sticks to it knee high.
I had to cross only one hill, in white shoes (ah, what did I expect would happen on a coastal path!?) to get to Dartmouth castle…It was worth it!
There was a cove you could climb down. I threw my shoes off and my bare swollen feet felt the bareness of the rocks. The rocks were sharp and raw. Exactly what I needed.
”At some point the endless walking makes you weary. I have seen the castle, most of Dartmouth and even found a post office to drop some post cards off.
Tiredness overwhelms me, although I well know I could not sleep.
The clock just turned two.
More than enough time to wait for the rain.
As I have found a second hand bookshop I got stuck there for an hour and missed the bus by a few minutes. So I am stuck for still over an hour.”
I thought of walking back…my body could not do it.
With an unusual spontaneity I decided to change plan and take the bus for the rest of the journey.
”After having chips and climbing another hill to find a so despised public toilet I still have an hour.
It’s the ideal moment to do what everyone else does this Monday afternoon: sleep.
My most important need is satisfied: some warm food.
The dark clouds raise their veil and finally move westwards, as they were supposed to do all last weekend.
The steam train on the other side of they bay moves into the fog, and without some contribution.
The weather situation is magical. The blue sky on my right, above the sea, and down the river comes a mix of a dozen shades of grey.
What an interesting mood they procreate.
Wind, then rust and last rain.
Sometimes you simply want to be far from eternity…
The crows are here.
I must leave.”
I crossed the river with a cheap ferry, in wind and rain I felt part of the sea.
The whole day is not worth mentioning. It annoyed me.
It all annoyed me, going to the bigger cities, the constant wetness between my swollen toes and baby cries.
I only wanted to return to the mud…away from civilization I was happier.
The day of my vital return to life. The pulsing heart of London awaited me. Stepping out of the train at Paddington was….like the very first time.
When you realize you have arrived, not merely at a station but your whole existence opens up to you in the light falling through the glass roof.
For about twenty minutes I was in sheer joy to be alive, to be human.
With a professional eye I looked at the underground digital signage (brightness, manufacturer, etc) and some pizza place.
”There is barely any day when I can easily fall asleep after five in the morning.
I dream in sequences.
The last sequences of last night were full of monsters and witches.
They were no nightmares.
I had the power and help to destroy them or escape.
Something most seemingly evil always chases me and my helpers.
I couldn’t make out what it is.
Perhaps it is the same force that doesn’t let me sleep.”
Note: After I heard from several people (including my mother) that they wake at six in the morning and have sleeping problems as well, I begin to believe it has become a global phenomena.
”Each time I try to think of having sex with someone I end up dreaming of me being a fairy, a witch or any other attempt of being normal.
Maybe there are too many crows around here [when I left there were none: only a white pigeon].
The smaller towns were more of my liking and I haven’t bought any antique book.”
”There are places that always provide sanctuary. After an hour of coffee and blueberry muffin my shelter is the local library, not far from the station.
For the next three hours this shall be my mental home. [I believed until a voice said the library is closing in twenty minutes. A library closing at 1! What has the world come to!?]”
” ‘The Prague cemetery’ by Eco proves to be the book of the century, my century.
These days a second hand shop or a library is equipped with better books than any book shop.
The decline of quality in our book culture worries me.
Example: People stared at me while I picked up a pocket dictionary for the third time because I could not believe that the wealth and virtue of the English language can be sold for 1,49 GBP.
One book out of 100 in a book shop is innovative, a true contribution to our society or specific field of research.
Alarming, isn’t it?
But what is there to do?
Now, that we fight the electronic evolution.
Umberto Eco’s novel would/will never end up in higher rankings because it demands the reader to be smart, clever and go beyond some stupid love stories.
The decline in quality books does not come with the lack of clever authors but…with their audience.
Of course, authors want their books to be sold in numbers of hundred thousands and in accordance to do so, the book has to be adjusted to the audience’s IQ.
I know, it is hard to understand, just like you have to understand that war has to be fought to reduce population (borrowed from my head and Eco’s book, which seem to go quite hand in hand every third page).”
”Full of excitement, joy and conspiracy theories I am on the train to London.
My bag reeks of the three day old red mud.
My heart fills with love when I think of a bath and my own duvet…ah, and a pyjama, sure[well, hey I just did not have any space left in my bag for a pyjama.]”
”This morning, between the bathroom door and the toilet I understood that there is no going back with J, specially not in separate flats [although I most certainly love the idea of being in a relationship yet having your own place, good point for future partners]
[We have talked on the phone for some time of my trip. Out of loneliness or just because after hundreds of hours on the phone his voice is the most familiar in my life!? On the last day his excuses that he slept with her to take his revenge upon her made me sick. The only creatures he took revenge on were the innocents, including his own child.
Being a loner does not mean you ruin the life of the ones you love!]
Lost trust…well, no trust. No relationship, wherever we are, or I am.
He’d only be an imaginative attachment in my life then.
I wouldn’t want to be that way, so he cannot either.
When Eco’s novel doesn’t make you schizophrenic, well, then I don’t know what could!
Why it stood at the bottom of the bookshelf, only clever archivists could tell. Education somehow always has to bend over, other than those who enjoy reading ”What love does” (as if we all don’t know yet how well love is used to manipulate people!?) or (my personal title idiot favourite) ”The meaning of pee in a pot”. You see my desperation!? Eco’s book proves so well that the world which used to be an oyster is now the excrement of a religious fanatic floating somewhere in the underground channels of Latvia. Okay, as a fanatic in my own literary sense I just love how the book picks up what no clean (political, huh?) hand is supposed to touch. Not in 19th century Europe or even today. Despite that I always think when I hear the name Eco he is dead, his literature is well alive, though some centuries ago they play and uncover the survival part in the human soul.
Thank you, Eco. Long live the…ummm author. Ps. I know you are not dead, yet…luckily.
And as final: I have realised that young pretty poets do not wear old hats, just like my grandmother always told me, together with how pretty my hair is and that all hope for a female heir in our family now relies upon me. I’m glad my grandmother E is only physically disabled. Still I shall be the only girl in our line. Only after I came to know about the pact between my two grandmothers I felt true disgust. They divided us children in conquer, or rather jealousy: my three cousins with grandmother E (my father’s mother), my brother and me with grandmother L (my mother’s mother). I can understand my grandmother L. She almost starved to death in WW2. Her greed afterwards was punished with madness. A pretty fair deal they both made with nature. Somehow I never believed that a girl could be smart and clever. That’s why most of my life I wanted a baby boy. Well, this thinking probably completely strikes against my existence, I know. I just don’t want everyone to walk through hell to become an angel. Perhaps you have to – who knows.” [Let’s hope hell isn’t as muddy.] Here are all the pictures of my whole pilgrimage.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.