Wednesday, 25 February 2009

View through the portholes

LOOK! Can you see through these porthole-goggles? It's the sea!



Outside our round windows there are seagulls and seamist and seasongs and sea!
Yes indeed we have made it to the coast! Here we are parked at the end of a little lane on the top of a cliff where we can see miles of greyblue water, gently approaching and withdrawing from the stony edge of this land where we are. The sounds are different and there is salt and seasleepiness in the air. We hear the sqa sqa of gulls swooping and the bluck-clucking of a yardful of chickens kept in the grounds of an interesting eggshell blue house with a round tower just over there. We hear from time to time a deep low boom from out at sea which for a while in our imaginations was pirate-cannons or whale-thunder or ...
well apparently it's the exploding of bombs that have gone past their sell by date would you believe it!



This little spot is where people come to walk their dogs, car after car pulls up by us all through the daylight hours and we are beginning to recognise people by Whippet or Wolfhound, Setter or Husky... We were apprehensive. How long would it take for someone to ring the council? There is after all a No Overnight Parking, Campers or Caravans sign just there, and houses not far away either. So we put a temporary sign in the windscreen, propped against the steering wheel, saying this is our house... and watched as folks stopped and read. What a delight people are here! Not one hostile word yet, nor any sign of a council man. In the mornings while still beneath the duvet we overhear the early dog walkers saying "oo look" and "what a nice idea" and "where are the horses?" to one another, while their snuffling bounding companions snuffle and bound about the wheels.



We have walked and walked by the cliff edges and have found such things along the coast as forests and Roman Forts, gorse bushes and cooing doves. And we have crunched along the stones at the water's edge where strings of seaweed drape themselves over the tide breakers, and collected driftwood in abundance for our fire. Tui took me for breakfast the other day in a tiny cafe down the road a bit. He has been crouching by the breaking waves and catching sea sounds in his electronic sound net, and we have enjoyed spending our days by the sea.




I have had time to begin two new paintings (one of which will be a clock) and to work on a lovely map commission for someone who is to be married in the summer. She wanted her overseas guests to be able to find the wedding with a hand drawn medievalish sort of map that could direct them from the main airports and show the important old towns nearby. I am delighted to say that she is skipping with excitement about it, and I am rather pleased with it too.



Best of all we have been touched by the kindness of a visitor.. A dear lady called Maria who cares for rescued dogs read our sign and was the first person bold enough to knock on our door!
She offered a possible place to park in the hills of Wales where her sister lives... and was kind. And today she returned not only with her sister's address but a delicious bagfull of cheeses and walnut bread and olives and sundried tomatoes and biscuits and oaty chocs and yellow tulips! We sat and had tea in the sea air and were glad indeed for kind hearted people as we pass by.



As I write, the sun is setting and Tui is gathering sticks on the beach for a fire-by-the-water. In a while we will stumble down the steep and eat our food gifts with some wine by the burning driftwood, knowing that just out there in the blackness is the Edge of England. If I am feeling exceedingly brave, I might jump in the waves and out again ... and then scuttle back to the firelight to dry.


We have been noticing the importance of moving on in this itinerant life. It is of course a rather obvious thing to say... but you get a little bit settled where you are if things are ok, even in a carpark. You start to know the little walks and develop a routine quite quickly. A sort of lazy familiarity lurks there too.. and this can only be swept away by driving off.
It is so nice to meet new people in their place, and to see something different out of the window. It is a privilege to be able to experience the land like this I think. When your house is stuck to the earth you develop a different sort of relationship with it. Equally beautiful, but it feels like ownership. And when passing through you can see the bits of earth that others call their own, and enjoy them for a while. Perhaps one day we will want to stop and put down roots somewhere and grow vegetables, but for now, we are loving the wandering, and the turning up in new places, and the making it home for a spell.


66 comments:

Sue. said...

Lovely, just lovely - what a gift sweet Maria has proven to be...totally renews faith in human nature. Enjoy the sea, wrap up warmly. Sue.

Castle in the Air said...

Just magic.
Best wishes and warm thoughts,
Karima

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Are those Basalt stones I spy? If so find some nice smooth ones, about as big as your palm (that's the size I like anyway), heat in some water and use to keep hands warm and for non-burning moxa type treatment. Only thing is I don't how long it would take your stove......Baslt stone massages are very popular.

Heather said...

I loved this post and am so glad you met kind people. I'm sure you enjoyed your lovely feast by the sea. I love the idea of being a nomad but I'm a bit too old and settled now to give it a try and wherever I go I am always glad to get back home. I want it all ways! The map is wonderful and what a lovely idea. The clock too looks fascinating - I just love your illustrations.

Anonymous said...

I think that this is the MOst Interesting Blog I have ever read. I love your work. You inspire me. Robin of The Baggaraggs

Liza said...

I'm so glad you have found friendliness by the sea. I was really worried by your earlier post and cannot believe the hostility of some people. Your work is so beautiful...all best wishes to you both. x

Arija said...

I am so glad you have found this little sanctuary by the sea evn if there are deterant signs. So much nicer than the car park which had me a bit worried.

Clint Marsh said...

Thank you, Rima and Tui. Those are lovely landscapes and the people sound even more beautiful.

Waving at you from the far edge of America,
Clint

Shelley Noble said...

Woof. Your way with words leaves me transported and breathless, Rima. I've never known anyone who could turn a phrase as well as you.

femminismo said...

Thank you for the lovely "vacation" along the seashore. From the first porthole glimpse, to the rocky shore (what a wonderful collection of stones) to the names of all the food that lovely woman brought, to that mystical map!! Who would ever give that up? It would be in my scrapbook FOREVER! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the travels. Jeanne in Oregon, USA

kim said...

I so enjoy your wanderings:) It reminds of my love of travel although I only have traveled the backroads of my country. take care
Kim

pRiyA said...

i loved this post. the surroundings are just magical, and what you say about staying in one place and moving on is so true. you express yourself so beautifully and reading your posts is like listening to someone tell me a story.

but what i can't stop looking at is the Way to the Wedding map. it is exquisite!

Stepping off the edge said...

oh how your stories warm the soul! my son has even taken to reading over my shoulder when i announce a new post :0)
(did I tell you he has decided on going to University in Edinburgh? If you are still on the move in two years we'll have to pop down for tea!)
Living vicariously through your posts (for the moment:0)
Tracey

Cat (darklingwoods) said...

It warms my soul to know you are having such a beautiful adventure, thank you for the view of the sea through the windows!

Cat

east-side-patch said...

Hi Rima.
I have been reading you blog for the past month or so - and I read quite a few! I love it. Great to follow your journey and your experiences. You are a really eloquent writer and a great illustrator. Living your lifestyle must really feed into your style of illustration. You are living the dream - and I applaud you. I also like your blog as it gives me a touch of home ( Brit now living in central Texas).
Anyway I thought I would say Hi, and ask you a quick and probably silly question:
How do all your books and things stay on your shelves when you drive around? :)
Keep up the great work.
ESP.

ArtSnark said...

Always a pleasure "traveling with you", Rima. Sounds like a particularly memorable spot

Mollamari said...

I must say it brought tears to my eyes hearing how well things are at the moment after all difficulties and rudeness! What a blessing having such friendly people visit you, and enjoying that awesome sea atmosphere. I enjoy so much of your beautiful words, what a life you have! All the well for you in your adventures!

tlc illustration said...

I love your thoughts about seeing life 'on the move' rather than from a fixed vantage point. You are brave and see life beautifully.

That map is fabulous - and what a good idea. (You could probably sell map prints - your versions of places you visit?)

Thank you for sharing your life and vision.

solsticedreamer~laoi gaul~williams said...

hooray! what a wonderful place and a wonderful soul who brought you gifts :) fingers crossed you can stay there until your wandering souls call you on~the hills of wales sounds like a fine adventure!

herhimnbryn said...

you see some of us Kentishpeople can be kind!

Am wondering what part of the coast this is? St margaret's bay? Herne bay? Dover? I wonder where you are?

Pat said...

Your photographs have the colours of your paintings. May you enjoy peace and kindness here for a while longer.

Tracee Dawn said...

ia ora na! what a wonderful place to call "home" for awhile. i believe that the sea draws everyone to it, our planet is small, but the seas are endless. you have brought me there with you this day, away from the snow covered, land locked place i call home right now. someday the sea will call me, and i will answer her....

Jessie Lilac said...

The lovely sea-side, there's no-where like it :)
What an amazing idea for a wedding!I'd frame that map and have it on my wall forever if it was mine.x

Katie said...

I keep thinking of the lady who brought you the yummy food and the yellow flowers and suggested a stay at her sisters. I am sure it reminds you that there are beautiful, thoughtful people in the world. I suppose an adventure wouldn't be complete without all of its experiences. Have a lovely time by the sea, it looks glorious!

mama p said...

Hurrah! What a wonderful stop. The sea is utterly my favorite place to be. I am glad to enjoy it through your porthole goggles! Enjoy your time there by the tides. (And, amazing what a difference a little sign of welcoming makes. Good for you, and for your neighbors!)

Kim said...

Oh Rima, your adventures are soooo inspiring. I want to just pack up and go today!!! I hope you continue to find the kindness of strangers. I really love the map, truly wonderful :)

Kim x

Karen said...

How lovely to be waking up to that view through your porthole!
And falling asleep to the sound of waves.....
I wonder if you have braved that cold water yet ;)
Love the map!
x

Nancy said...

You should build your own map of your travels in your home on wheels. Something like a personal map of "your world" and do little drawings of special points (like the sea and Maria). Wales is lovely. I enjoyed my visits there very much.

willow said...

Hi Rima, just dropped by to say hello. It's been ages since I've been to visit. Lovely, lovely sea photos.

Marja said...

How wonderful to be in such a peaceful, beautiful place with kind people. I love the sea The sound of the waves makes me quiet inside.
The map you made is absolutely gorgeous. great job

Griffin said...

Oh, when the sea's on the pebbles it's even better. A splash when the tide comes over and then hussshhhhhh as the tide returns to itself. I miss that a lot.

Hmm, if you go down to the sea today,
You're in for a big surprise,
If you go down to the sea today
You'll find yourself with wide eyes,

For every bomb that ever there was
Reaches it's sell-by and just because
Goes BOOM quite crossly and in a huff,
Except for the tiny ones that just go puff...
And all because they've been ignored for ye-ears!

The Dutchess said...

Happy to hear you did meet some nice people..in the next week I am going to travel through France...to a place called Nohant.a great frech writer George Sand lived there..Wish i could stay on the road longer but ..work waits...hope to go on a LONG journey someday..enjoy .. stay warm and stay happy:)
I loved the drawing..now I know how to go there...

Melanie said...

Hia Rima, lovely White Horse- what a fantastic idea for directions. I love the rat person holding the scroll at the bottom. :-)

Framers is open today so Autumn Crow will go- have taken pic to blog as glass reflects the flash. I like it more each time I look.

I am so glad you have found a little quiet corner with a gem of a lady. I wonder if we will see some little sea folk with coracles and sea weed? :-)

From This Moment to That said...

"Oooh I do like to be beside the seaside!" Great news...that you have found or been found 'by' good people!! The map looks wonderful, and the views of the sea and beach. How wonderful to sojourn there for a while.
Hugs
Jane

Lunaea said...

As always, I am transported by your musings. And that map! Love it!

Ciara said...

Ah the sweetness of your words Rima. So good to hear at last a post that is full to the brim of happy gatherings! And not a squint-eyed passer-by in sight. I do wonder about seaside living. All those negative ions bring out the best in people I reckon! (Well in general maybe: though we do have one squint-eyed neighbour here that no amount of n.i.'s would cure!)

I ADORE the map! I love old maps and yours is a wonderful old-in-the-making map that one day will be a family heirloom I've no doubt. What a great memento to a very special day!

And thanks be for the Maria's of the world...

So sweet salted dreams to you both from the edge of Ireland... :-)

Kelly said...

What a wonderful blog you've got here! :)
I shall be back again, another time, for another visit.

Kelly

Julia Guthrie said...

Oh ok...now you've hit my little romantic spot..the ocean:)
So glad you've found such a lovely place to stay awhile, & such lovely people too. Reading this post gave me 'warm fuzies':)

xxx

KK said...

I hope your stay in Ancient Cantium is a pleasant and memorable one. Head towards Folkestone and there you will find the forgotton province of Little Switzerland - a few miles of remote but beatiful bleakness. Happy travels

anthromama said...

Oh, let's just keep thinking it's whale-thunder, shall we? :-) I'm so glad you found a nice, welcoming spot, and a chance for a future welcoming spot! Your art is rather foresty...I wonder if the sea will show up there?

(Your packet of child art is on its way!)

JOY said...

Rima - I too absolutely love the language you live and speak. I feel like I walk into another world where myth and magic delights at every turn. I too am glad you have met kindness. I love listening to the ticking clocks on your clock site. I always wanted a wall of clocks (maybe still)! Traveling mercies to you and yours from Michigan, USA!

Turnip head said...

A love your work so much and those photos are just so splendid.

Bimbimbie said...

Hooray for Maria, lets hope there are lots more like her who read your sign and knock at your door*!*

Love the wedding map and the suggestion someone made about you making them of your own travels is wonderful idea, would make a great travel book *!*

moonbindery said...

lovely photos of the sea! It's interesting to think of a life on the move.

Barbara

jane and the happy crow said...

Hello, what a lovely really interesting blog. I am glad that Maria knocked on your door, before reading your blog I would have been one of the wary that just walked on by, but now I would bring you a cake! I love your artwork too. Jane xx

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

My cheeks tingle from smiling all the way through this. What a delight to read of your lovely adventure and to find you resting here by the sea. I have prayed for you to find some kindness, and you found Maria and sweet dog-walkers! I shall think of you tonight by your seaside fire. And I shall smile some more.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Drat. I signed off before I told you how perfectly enchanting your map is. I stared at it for ages. It made me want to get married all over again .

bett/ said...

...very very magic...

custardfairy said...

Your web-home makes me so happy and I love reading about your wonderful adventures, even when trolls and ogres show up at your doorstep.

I hope the best for you and your traveling house. Looking forward to more tales when you have time!

Butler and Bagman said...

What a cool post! I'm not sure where I came from, browsing from post to post, but this one caught me -- the imagery both in pixels and in words. I'll be back. Great work!

Barry said...

You guys are still living my fantasy life. Now if only I had some artistic talent.

And the courage.....

Jo James said...

Whispered thoughts of hopitality to you and yours. Lovely words. Lovely adventures. Lovely art.

3ster said...

Hi Rima! How are you?
Your way of life is so wonderful... like your creative art.
I´m always surprised abour your travels!

Hugs

Ester

hadanevada said...

It is like a dream, a made dream reality, I admire and envy you, for the life of dream that you take ... your blog is pure magic, alive nature ... feeling and soul ... thank you for sharing this so wonderful trip.

kss.

Lola Enchanted said...

Hello~I'm new here and let me just say WOW!! A blog just full of magic!!!! I am going to look through more of your posts!!!!!!

I love it here and am so happy to meet you!

Carolee said...

What a beautiful place to stop for a bit. So glad to hear the people have been friendly and welcoming.

And your map is just enchanting!

~ Carolee

Vita said...

The Map is BEYOND any compliments!
and your journey is such a pleasure to follow!

martie said...

What a wonderful place you have found, and I am delighted to have visited with you via this blog post. I hope the people stay nice and wonderful, and you can enjoy yourselves until (all too soon) it will be time to move on.

Take care!

Renee said...

Rima this is so wonderful. I love this post and I want to add a God Bless to Maria.

Life is good when its good isn't it.

Love Renee

The map is fantastic.

rachelhoward said...

Beautiful reading again - thank you for the vicarious feeling of freedom! Your current spot sounds wonderful and you've described the sounds so well. Makes me want to just take off to the coast.

I love your map. Such a great idea and beautifully done - I'm not surprised she's excited about it. A friend got married in Wookey Hole (the cave) last year and I bet she'll wish she did something like this. She made her own cake like an island with lots of little houses and the sea around it - it was amazing. It took her months. I've already e-mailed your URL to her!

Had to smile when you mentioned a round tower - I've got one on my blog this week. :)

Inky said...

Hi Rima, it's so wonderful to read your words and see your pictures - it feels like I am travelling with you! I love to read your descriptions and your thoughts. Your artwork is fabulous and an inspiration.

You are a lovely person and I just wish you passed my way because you could park up here in my driveway anytime! Take care, keep warm and enjoy your journey.

Leigh Shepherd said...

Just wanted to thank you for writing about 'Jonathan Strange' a while back. Its been a long time since I enjoyed a book so much.
So pleased you have found a good place to stay for a while. Keep safe and warm x

CIELO said...

Very interesting blog... I love your indumentary on that pic...

Nice meeting you

cielo

Anil P said...

I almost felt it was I who was out there. The outcrops that give away to the skies invite a wandering soul to partake of its beauty.

It made for a poignant reading, and the pictures told part of the story. Very evocative.

Living the Rural Dream said...

The kindness of strangers is something that never ceases to move me :-) I have just been directed to your blog by pip-pip, who I found due to our impending move back to the UK. We have been travelling around France/Spain for the last year, a large chunk of it in our camper. In between we have volunteered in return for accommodation etc ... I think I am most certainly going to enjoy it here and I shall be delving in lots more :-)

paintandink said...

Your map is marvelous, as is your blog, and all of your artwork!

(So delighted to find another mapmaker.)