My first ‘own’ home in London was a small wooden boat. A shack on the water to be more exact.
I loved it’s basic-ness.
The contrast of being in such blissful solitude within the very centre of London’s centre, encircled by one of it’s main arteries. Her name was, aptly, “Shed”. We had a great love affair, Shed and I….. the little wood burning stove… the rustle of leaves on the great plane trees overhead…the sound of the rain on the roof. The independence of it all.
Being a Londoner, I certainly have an affinity with the city and I love to visit those wonderful cities in which I’ve lived. Cities, both large and small, excite me tremendously in all their offerings. But it’s in the wilds that I find depth and peace, vigour and verve.
As a child, having the great fortune of being born into a nature loving family, my brothers and I went from London to Cornwall for long stretches of wild seaside saltiness in all it’s seasonal glory. Year after year, season after season.
Our father was a photographer and our mother an artist, and for many years, along with friends and dogs, we hiked the cliffs in our wellies and guernsies with cameras and watercolour paper and flower presses. With flasks and sandwiches and squares of Cornish fudge.
It was a magical, windswept childhood and stoked a vivid love for this robust farmhouse life that we live now.
As the parched heat of an Ibizan summer gives way to the joy of forgotten rains I find myself harking back to those wild and woolly childhood days in Cornwall. In these inky shadowed solitary September moments before dawn I find myself searching for my wellies, digging out my woolly socks and inviting imaginary friends for dawn tea parties.
Here’s to coastal inspiration in all it’s simplicity.