For the last 20 years, I have lived in Clacton on Sea – and today it has a politically historic by-election. I also lived for the first seven years of my life in this constituency’s Walton on Naze, having been born there in 1948.
Matthew Parris, ex Conservative MP, controversially wrote an article in The Times about Clacton with relation to this by-election: speaking of a place where people are waiting to die, ‘a place of shell suits and death.’
However, there is a hidden aspect to Clacton that, through living there for a decade or two, will eventually be revealed to you. I have tried to adumbrate that aspect by means of this blog over the years, culminating in my recent article here.
Another attack from Boris – photos taken early this morning. Five days to go and counting…
Boris Johnson wields a brick and exhorts:
“We will fight them on the beaches of Clacton!”
My recent photo taken in Clacton.
Received today, this leaflet is very clever and effective in its own terms.
Meanwhile, I keep my powder dry as to whom I shall give my own vote.
Today’s skyline. The geofacial makeover continues, as a new beachhead emerges overnight around Clacton-on-Sea against the political as well as the climactic storms about to hit this area:
I received today my copy of the 25th anniversary edition of ‘Best New Horror’: yesterday’s beachhead against today – the first volume in 1989 of a successful series of anthologies. One of my stories (Mort au Monde) was then included in this book and, although today I am, like the coast, being accretively made-over, I am very proud of this ancient achievement in its new setting.
This novel by DF Lewis was published by the acclaimed Chomu Press in 2011. It has something to do with Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, where the author has lived for 20 years.
Now Clacton is about to go BIG. Possibly not as big as the novel itself, though.
The text on the original back cover of the book:
You have been suffering with dream sickness, and a Hawler has suggested you take the sea air for a rest cure. Perhaps you have been strolling along the promenade by the sands of Clacton-on-Sea, wondering whether your life is a dream, and if so, whether it is a real dream, or merely a dream of a dream. You put your face in the space of a seaside cut-out board and on the other side you see… a giant carpet in the wild spiral of a tornado burrowing into the earth, the weave of its multidimensional design revealing the capering of carpet apes, the things that haunt ceilings, the places where poultry becomes meat… You remove your face and find yourself back in the same day as before, with both sides of the cut-out board the same dream or unimaginable reality. But now you and everything else have together become completely nemonymous.
For the full treatment, insert your face in the space of Nemonymous Night by veteran Weirdmonger D. F. Lewis. Let the captain of this earthcraft take you from the left foot of man-city to the nemo of the ‘no me’. On a guided tour of the under-carpet of Inner Earth, decide for yourself if Greg is Greg or really Mike, if Beth is actually Susan, what it is the Hawler does to cure the dream sickness, and whether Mike or Susan might, in fact (or fiction), be you.
I lay awake at 4 a.m listening to the echoing clangs and thumps of the coastal work that is tidal-sensitive to time. You kip, I kippeth not.
This morning, I find the cafe is still open directly in front of the piled Norwegian rocks that are ready for making into the new Fishtail Groynes:
Although I shall miss the old rocks and groynes along this coast (preserved photographically on this my website), I have been convinced that it is work needed doing.
Thanks to some Julian Karswell who once set about casting the runes, if not the rocks.
The whole lower promenade between here where I live in the bungalow house on the borderland and the route to Frinton at Holland Haven is now fenced off, as the groynes and rocks I have photographed for years on this site are altered or destroyed.
A visionary scene, even by sunlight, of Hodgson’s Night Land.
Giles Watling was appointed last night as one of the conservative candidates for the forthcoming historic Election of Clacton, a receptacle of Essex…
It seems apt he is most famous for Bread during Thatcher’s Britain, a protestant among catholics, one small p, two small c’s.
I am writing this in reply to what Matthew Parris of The Times is reported here to have said about Clacton-on-Sea where I have lived for the last 20 years.
As partially demonstrated by my photographic reportage of the Clacton area on this blog in recent years and my long-term absorption of not only the area’s piecemeal particularities but also its gestalt, I contend it is a spiritual receptacle akin to the abbey ruins, chalice well gardens and Tor of Glastonbury in Somerset which is a genius loci that I first encountered by visiting it and feeling it for myself in the 1970s with my then young family, as originally impelled by my reading ‘The Glastonbury Romance’ by John Cowper Powys (a book whence I quote here).
Clacton is a genius loci, too, a destiny, a crossover conflux that deserves better than those who are currently using or abusing it. Or perhaps it will now be harnessed for its optimum potentiality seeing that it has thus been clumsily delivered a higher profile by those who don’t yet fully understand such potential.
Only today, just as an aside, I discovered for the first time, without really looking for it, the artefact below hidden away in a corner of the crazy golf near Clacton pier. It was as if I was meant to find it today.
PS: I was born in Walton-on-Naze (part of the Clacton constituency) in 1948.
I tried to avoid all the TV cameras in town yesterday as I walked to Underwoods to collect my repaired car … There seemed to be a heavy swell on the sea that echoed the calm sunny day unexpectedly turning gusty….