Tuesday, 21 March 2017
Because of a rather bad case of the sneezes and sniffles, I spent the day in my chair reading an excellent curmudgeonly memoir about a clockwise, three month trip around the coast of England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.
“Vacationers sitting under a dark sky were waiting for the sun to shine, but the forecast was rain for the next five months. ‘Bracing’ was the northern euphemism for stinging cold and it always justified the sadism in the English seaside taunt, ‘Let’s get some color in those cheeks.’ It was another way of making a freezing wind compensate for the lack of sunshine.”
“I imagined day-trippers getting off the train and taking one look and bursting into tears. But of course most people at Morecambe were enjoying themselves in the drizzle, and the fault was mine, not theirs. This was just another cultural barrier I was incapable of surmounting.
Nothing is more bewildering to a foreigner then a nation’s pleasures, and I never felt more alien in Britain then when I was watching people enjoying their sort of a seaside vacation.”
A passage near the end describes how the English coast has changed. Theroux found the Scottish coast to still be wild.
I was especially fascinated by Jaywick, an English seaside town that has fallen on hard times and looks like it could be a dreamy place if a bunch of artist types, and I don’t mean the gentrification type, moved in. I began looking at seaside bungalows for sale. I’d like this little bungalow, please. With this little garden:
At the Ilwaco library: