North Sea love

It was put to me recently that after so many years in Berlin, I must really love it here. I think I said I did. Because in many ways I do. But love, as they say, is a fickle thing, and I fear my heart will never beat for this city in the same way that it does for the water that ripples and rages between the shores of Germany and Britain, over once-connective land it swallowed many thousands of years ago.

I’ve long tended to indulge my adoration of the North Sea during visits back to the UK. It has, in fact, been intrinsic to them. Not only because the island nature of the place, but because of a deep green cliff to which I invariably go, from where I have a completely endless and endlessly complete view of the coldhearted object of my affection that roars and murmurs as the mood takes it.

Down below, when the tide is out, I walk the broad wet sands in search of fossils left there by time, watch the elements brush and daub the sky, and I swim. I accept the biting cold, for it was the salty chill of these waters that kept me afloat when I took my first-ever solo strokes. I recall the sheer vastness of it all, and being told that if I kept swimming long enough, I’d eventually reach the other side. Read on or listen

Category: Writing

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