Sitting outside a slightly run-down(in the best sebaldian fashion, of course!) café, in a town which is an incongruous mixture of faded elegance(not quite sunken into total decrepitude) and seediness: a back street doubling as the shopping MAIN street,-advertising kippers, kebabs and tattoos-hidden behind the pretty but slightly ravaged promenade façade
Its not Suffolk or Woodbridge, Max(the latter being that town where I sat reading, for the first time, one of your books, “The Rings of the Saturn”, near the course of your journey, again outside-a much more pre-possessing-café:in around 2007).
Sitting outside that café in Douglas, as I was saying, Max,I decided, espresso-fuelled, to make the most open and full experience of what could have been a narrow one(owing to constrictions of health and other matters): in this liminal land, in the midst of the Irish Sea(in which, I try not to remember, but cannot UNremember,they only legalised homosexuality quite recently; even more recently gave us equal rights in other areas, probably under pressure from the European Court of Human Rights, as its government is mainly independent of Westminster).
Trying not to think, but thinking (nonetheless),semi-consciously, that I last came to this somewhat beknighted island 43 years ago, as a child: to Ramsey , in 1971/2; Ramsey, where I now know that the-even then-desuetudinous hotel where we stayed, as a school-party(up, as it seemed, 8 stories):-that that hotel has now succumbed to time and been demolished.
Douglas, Isle of Man, 18.4.14
(to be continued)