“There’s a perfect day stretching out ahead of me. The pale blue, glass like sea goes on forever blending into a distant horizon with the hazy blue sky. There’s a calming breeze blowing across me breaking the sun’s warmth. I know the rough contours of the surrounding landscape so well by sight. If it weren’t for the people there’d be a blissful silence lulled only by the gentle lapping of the waves.
“I love this place more in the winter when the cruel grey skies, heavy with cloud bear down on us turning the sea to an angry grey. It’s so much more peaceful then as the icy breezes blow all around forcing the people to stay away and leave this place tranquil.
“A safe haven for a restless spirit.
“I love it when the rain lashes down and the waves rise higher to greet the new influx of water. I love it when the snow finely covers the beach like icing sugar on a cake. I love it at night, in darkness when the moon reflects, shimmering on the water. I love it at sunset when the fiery colours warm the sea. I love it as the tide comes in engulfing the beach, the sea knowing no mercy. I love it as the tide goes out revealing glorious unspoilt sand.
“I love the great sense of calm that comes as the waves lap gently on to the shore. The safe knowledge created on a calm day by the clearly defined horizon; a deep blue line of sea against the paleness of the sky. But I love the days when menacing grey clouds make the horizon a blur, its location undefined through hazy clouds. Things aren’t so safe then, the boundaries have changed.
“Time for change.
“The sea’s been almost perfect these last few days, not sea like at all. It’s more like glass and it looks so easy just to walk out on it. It’s freezing cold and the sand at the top of the beach is lightly covered in frost. Where the sun catches the water it glitters black and empty. Towards the horizon the sea’s a darker blue, more sea like than where the waves lap in.
“I came here seeking a sanctuary; somewhere I could be anonymous. This tiny village by the sea is perfect; people stare at you for the first few days with the novelty then leave you alone more interested in the weather and the price of peas. I spent my whole life fighting against routine and settling; always moving on seeking a new adventure. There was a whole world out there that I had yet to discover.
“Then something changed.
“I’ve never been quite sure what exactly happened to me a year ago that made me suddenly crave the safety of a place like this. I’d always been convinced before that when the time was right I’d move on to something new and even more exciting than what I’d been doing before. But then this time I suddenly began to crave a sense of security; something I hadn’t known since my childhood.
“So I came here. A sleepy, grey stone village miles from anywhere, a tiny grey stone house with roses climbing up the front wall. A mere stone’s throw from the tiny golden beach and the vast empty sea. For the first time in many years I felt safe, as though I had finally found somewhere to where I belonged.
“As though I had come home.
“It had been so many years since I’d called anywhere ‘home’. The perils of always moving on I suppose, but there were so many things I wanted to do. So many things I still want to do but now I guess I never will. I always wanted to ride the surf in Australia at daybreak or trek barefoot across the Grand Canyon or watch the sunset at the top of the Eiffel Tower. I had so many plans, so many places still to go, so many things to do but then I began to crave the security I’d always avoided.
“In the next pages I will attempt to recreate my life, as faithfully and as accurately as I can and hope that in doing so I cause no harm to anyone.”
Mary-Lou Trelawny sighed and laid down her pen. She’d known that trying to write everything down at this point in her life would be difficult. Years as a travelling archaeologist had left her without any firm roots as she’d moved on from place to place answering the call of her instincts. She’d followed adventures, always seeking something new and interesting. Over the years she’d lost touch with the people who’d helped to shape her early life; she knew it was the down side of her continual movement yet it still saddened her. She’d arrived here a little over a year ago when she’d retired to try and collect her thoughts together. A colleague on the last dig she’d worked in Greece had suggested she write her autobiography. At the time she’d thought it was quite possibly one of the worst ideas she’d ever heard, but the idea had grown on her after several other people had suggested it.
Coming back to Britain on a permanent basis had been a culture shock to her. She’d been back on numerous occasions over the years to deliver lectures but always knowing that it was only for a matter of weeks and soon she’d be off again. She had never been able to pinpoint the sudden craving for security she’d had or indeed why it had hit her. Upon her return she’d spent many painstaking weeks tracking down people who she’d met throughout her life; anyone who would be able to help her write. Of course a number of the people who’d helped to form her early years had since passed on, but a good number of them remained and had been more than happy to help out. She glanced up at the clock, time was running out.