Stripping and Mending, Painting and Hammering
Apricot light comes through the blue shutters and washes the white walls. Through the open windows I can see the town etched clear, staggered on the hill above the port – red tiled roofs, pink villas, palm trees (just froths of green) and the huge white building, once a hotel, where Matisse used to live. There are white puffballs of clouds. The grey dove drops down from the railing; it has become almost a pet.
The water in the port is a rich, dark, sea-green; blue green. Very lovely, calm and still. Small boats maneouvre back and forth, tall masts split the sky. From here I can only see the small boats not the huge, ugly, rich yachts that belong to those who have no sense or should know better.
At the end of the port two old men do up the small painted fishing boats that are emblematic of Nice. Stripping and mending, painting and hammering, they are happy all day doing it.
I’ve always wanted to be a good writer – to write as well as I can write – to not be afraid of experimenting. When I gave up teaching I just wanted to write. And that is what I’ve done. I don’t intend to change. It’s hard work but so it should be – and it’s also a delight. Stripping and mending, painting and hammering. Happy all day doing it.