It’s a particular kind of cold – morning hailstones on a blustery beach on the north coast of Ireland – and it occurs to you that you have watched too much Marple, read far too much Maisie Dobbs and Inspector Gamache, to be truly at ease in a beautiful and isolated place.
You could write the setting for your murder, here between the crashing waves and the rushing river, an 18th century temple dramatically perched on the cliff edge above…
Maybe someone would see something glancing out the window of the coastal train before it disappeared into the tunnel.
You are relieved to see a dog-walker. You trust dog-walkers. They have a legitimate reason to walk. (And you never hear of dogs being accomplices to murder. Do you?).
There’s a lone seagull ‘winter paddling’ in the water’s edge, just like you are. He’s braver than you, not scampering off when the tide comes in, or maybe he’s just more free? You feel a bit silly letting the water wash over your colourful wellies. The seagull looks just right though, he has a legitimate place in the sea, written into his name.
What the hailstones add to the texture of the beach is incredible. Someone should write about it, you think. A legitimate writer. A poet.
“So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute”, Wendell Berry says.
Take a solitary walk. Winter paddle. Write.
Fill in your blank.