A concerned comment to this blog about the floods in Cornwall last week alerted me to the fact that I haven't posted anything since March this year. Where did the spring go and the summer, and the autumn which is nearly over? I swept away the last leaves this morning, getting cat shit on my clogs for all my pains, but now I have permission from the owner (Pussy Woman) to throw water over the offending fluffy ginger creature after it terrorised a heron in my garden back in July. In fact (a fact which I owned up to her), I have been throwing water and other missiles at her revolting pet since she moved it in a couple of years ago, but I have only got as far as scaring it out of the garden by my mere presence; the fouling and the wildlife mauling just goes on and on. I know that life is far too short to care about a cat, but in this neighbourhood it feels as though the utterly pointless animals have inherited the earth. I wouldn't want to eat any planted vegetable from a cat-infested garden or allotment, organic or not. Some creatures, including humans, are quite demonic, and if you're not careful, the whole of existence can be reduced to a a constant battle against the fiends.
But last week, before the floods, I was sitting in The Blue Bar at Porthtowan drinking well-kept Guinness and looking at the all-powerful ocean that washes sins away. I go to Porthtowan to remind myself why I live in Cornwall, and it always works. All my ghosts are on that beach: my gentle black labrador bitch, long dead, and the spirit of my daughter's childhood that haunts the sea caves where we used leave pebbles and shells for the mermaids on the tide. In summer, we'd go down to the shore with a breakfast sandwich and a flask of tea and wait for the sun to warm the sands - a cat-free zone.