I thought Swindon was the most depressing town in England until I discovered the delights of Blythe on the north east coast this winter. It was raining too, and with the sky the colour of old, cold dishwater I wandered about in a gloomy state of mind bordering at times on the plain suicidal. And yet people actually choose to live there.
As a friend of mine used to put it, ‘There’s nowt like folk’. He also used to say farewell to us in the office each evening with, ‘Oh well – one day closer to the grave’. Perhaps it’s the English character. We always moan about everything, even when we like it. A healthy cynicism, if you like, that ensures we’re never disappointed.
I did however stumble across this piece of modern art on the absurdly spacious boardwalk that runs along the pebble beach, as if awaiting the thousands of holidaymakers that have never actually turn up. As it happened, I was just finishing ‘Lovecraft – Against the World, Against Life’ and this thing looked like the great god Cthulhu, chewer of stars and heralded by the forbidden Necronomicon of the Mad Arab Abdul Alhazred, rising from the foaming waters.
It added a much-needed touch of glamour to poor old Blythe, enabling me to shamble the tenebrous halls of elder night before heading back for Christmas dinner. A vivid imagination is especially valuable in places like this.