I Drove All Night.
I am sitting at my new desk, trying to open my heart. The goal: not be a closed book. It’s a difficult process. I’ve made very little headway since recommencing this journey fifteen minutes ago. I can feel my heart beating. A bit too hard. I’m tired. When I close my eyes, the bright darkness is bumpy and jagged. This open-hearted self-reflection may need some stimulus. I hear DMT might help, although I have had some recent success that suggests I can access a higher state of emptiness by myself.
Last weekend I had to escape the city. It was neither sticky nor cruel, and I could have called ahead first. But I was dying to get away. I drove all night to get to, well, Tintagel in Cornwall.
Arriving in the dark and driving into a field, I crawled in the back of my hastily converted ‘works’ van (camper) and fell asleep to the rattle of the annoying spinning fan on the roof. I woke at 8 am and slid the side door open. It was foggy, and I was half asleep when I pulled up. I had little idea what I would find. It was a nice surprise: The Atlantic Ocean’s broad expanse sat there, blowing at me. Another nice surprise: Unusually, I remembered to put the handbrake on. Having driven autos for many years, I’ve lost interest in handbrakes. But now, with a manual, it turns out they fulfil an important function, especially on the edge of a sheer drop.
It was a beautiful morning. Wales was in full view to the north, and after a recent sailing adventure, I imagined the Fastnet yachts rounding the lighthouse on the Irish coast to the northwest.
After camp stove coffee, I set off on the final leg of my mission to visit Tintagel Castle. Taking the tiger line straight down the steepest possible non-path, I too quickly arrived at the foot of the headland after a legs-in-the-air moment and head-first roll through a bush. The castle was the home of powerful leaders and a trading point for goods from the Mediterranean. This was a large, Latin-speaking, high-status settlement. Looking up, I can see the beautiful new bridge spanning the ravine connecting the two sides of the castle that mostly collapsed in the 1500s.
Importantly, Geoffery of Monmouth wrote that this place was the birthplace of King Arthur. So, after a recent cosmic experience in the crack of a stone at Avebury Henge, I crossed the bridge searching for more mystical treats. The old castle ruins are interesting. The English Heritage signs are informative in setting the scene for what was once there. Beyond the castle ruins are low walls that mark out the remains of some small houses. It is always an interesting part of a building when the first course of blocks rises above the ground floor slab. You get a sense of the enclosure you are building for the first time. And these foot-high grass and moss-covered stone walls give me the same sense of place. The green edges of the walls are soft and inviting, so I wandered around these little houses for a few minutes.
But you must head right out onto the headland to feel the energy of the place. I should have gotten there earlier; it was quite busy. After going off-piste, I found a quiet place right out on the point, took my boots off, and stood barefoot on a cantilevering smooth rock facing due west. I enjoy this direct connection with the earth. The wind is strong, I can feel the big rock vibrating through my feet. It’s a cosmic recharge. There is no need for words I cannot find, no trendy stimuli. Here, I can open my heart where just being, just breathing, is everything. And as I look out to sea, of course, I can see Excalibur rising from the mist…
So, back here at my new desk with LED backlights and two 4K screens, my heart has slowed a little, remembering that impulsive flying visit to a rock on the edge of the Atlantic. I’m going for a walk later down to the boats, feel the wind and think about the next 24-hour adventure.
This week’s web links include a nice place in Scotland, something nice to eat with a favourite Irish ingredient, and a recommendation for lipstick!
Feel free to let me know if you have any comments or suggestions. You will always find me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week’s Links:
Roy Orbison drove all night, too…
This link reminds me that I want to buy a plot in Scotland and build a small house
What’s not to love, dates, Guinness and whiskey?
I have no idea how I even came across this article, but it is so far from anything I’m that interested in I wanted to share it. This is a confirmation bias destroyer.
Some kitchen ideas.
Hauser and Wirth’s Somerset outpost is worth the drive – perhaps a detour back from Tintagel. The current exhibition I have not seen, but it looks interesting. Nice restaurant, great farm shop and book shop.
After much thought, I’ve decided not to order a new custom Rolls Royce.
A Soho townhouse for sale.
I was the project architect for the extension and refurbishment of the Foundling Museum twenty years ago. It’s worth a visit if you are in Bloomsbury with a spare hour.
It’s sold, but these are fine Southsea houses near the seafront.
Main image credit: Tintagel Castle at sunset