April – Inverloch

Five years ago my boyfriend and I spent a weekend together. At least, by the end of that weekend he was my boyfriend. It’s a weekend I remember in snatches, the memories rubbed smooth by how many times I’ve turned them in my hands. 
To celebrate that weekend, and the five years of weekends in between, we hired a car and drove down the coast. The car was red. I loaded the boot with food – grapes and cheese and juice and almond croissants. Our bullet-like thermos was filled with tea and as we drove out of the city and the sky unfolded, I drank tea in sips between corners. 
I can’t remember why we chose Inverloch. We do that a lot – decide to go places and then forget exactly why. We spent a week in Osaka once, asking each other every day why we’d chosen Osaka as one of the four Japanese cities we would visit. I loved Osaka but neither of us could remember why we went. Inverloch has an ocean. Mostly I think, I wanted to be near the ocean. 

We stayed in a pretty little unit under a huge house. The windows were curtained with leaves. On the first night I walked into the garden and picked a handful of tomatoes and a fistful of basil, tossing them together and calling it a salad. 
The next morning, we browsed an op shop, bought some postcards, went to look at the water. But quickly we surrendered to spending the weekend quietly. Eating long, slow meals. Relishing how easy it is to chose movies from a stack of DVDs instead of a digital library. 
We ate a beautiful, extravagant cheese board and watched Shakespeare in Love. My boyfriend had never seen it. It was good, he decided. Properly good. It won awards? But it has jokes in it? Good movie. The cheese was good too, smeared on rounds of bread with finger-like black grapes. 

That evening we bought a pizza and a bottle of pink wine. When we put the bottle of wine on the counter the man at the bottle shop looked at us and said “Are you sure you want that? It’s sparkling rose.” And we couldn’t tell if he was shaming my boyfriend for buying fizzy pink wine or if it’s a thing people often do and later regret. 
We watched The Girl on the Train and it wasn’t very good and there’s a bit at the end with a corkscrew that doesn’t make any sense. But the pizza was good and the wine was pink and it was dark and quiet and we were not too far from the ocean. 
In the morning we walked down to the beach and the sand was covered in tiny crabs. When I was a kid we used to chase the little blue crabs, digging them out of the sand as they burrowed downwards away from us. Today we leave them be.

We drove the long way, along the water, to a restaurant on top of a cliff. We had the best table, probably because I booked months ago. We sat perilously near to the crashing waves and it was strange to be so close without feeling the spray. I tried not to think about climate change and buildings falling into the sea. Most of the other people there were grey haired and we were the young couple, sitting in the corner, smiling at each other too much. Just like we were on the first weekend, sitting in darkened pubs on the edge of something, falling into an expansive thing we didn’t understand. 

My goal for 2017 is to go somewhere every month. 
Preferably out of the city. Preferably to spend time with people I love.

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year