Whenever I return home I am relieved.

Leaving the distractions and the doubt behind.

Cruel thoughts, many miles away.

Whitstable, it takes me a day or so to crawl back into my own skin.  The scale of the town needs adjusting to.  I feel like a giant towering over the small, clapboard houses.  I cannot fit into the tiny shops.

The vitrine has not changed for many years.

The town has kept its original character.

Good and bad I know everyone on the street.  Now I see people who I knew formerly in London.  Gallery owners, actresses, commercial directors.  They strut around thinking they own the place, which of course, they do.

“What are you doing here?” They say.

Last week I was dwarfed by skyscrapers in New York, today I am shrinking rapidly into my Whitstable self.  No coyote to eat the dog, nobody to distract me from my task.

The children sit at their desks on tiny chairs in the same infant school where I learned about the autumn leaves, the saints and the sinners.

This morning we walked the grass paths on the freshly mown downs.  In the thin sunshine the skin on my arms and hands looks brown and weathered.  The fierce Californian sun, long forgotten.

Tomorrow we are driving to Dorset.  Past Stonehenge, to the sea.  Staying at The Bull Hotel in Bridport.  Traveling the well maintained motorways.

I may just keep driving.  I have everything I need.

Just head north through Bristol to Wales where I want to walk Offa’s Dyke.  Find me a B&B in Clun.  Eastward from the unspoiled Welsh counties to Shropshire.  The Stiperstones, this earth is my grave.

Fried eggs and thick bacon, marmalade.

Northward again through the black country.  Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire,  Cumberland to the borders.   I love you England.  I love you.

I bought a pair of secondhand, brown velvet trousers and an ebony cane with an engraved, silver knob.  I found a dark green cashmere and silk scarf, channeling Fanny and Stella in Burlington Arcade.  It is cold enough to wear a beautiful hat, an autumn gown.

I am willing the winter moonlight.

I don’t want anyone else with me. This is mine.

I could not be further from the madness.  England!  Where my heart lies.